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Moseyin’ Along

Love from the perspective of kids

February 12, 2015
By Joyce Schenk , Westfield Republican

Last week, on a whim I bought a pack of Valentines. These were not the "grown up" Valentines, featuring lace and flowers and filled with poems of love. No, these were the kind of cards youngsters send to one another in school.

I can still remember the big red box on the teacher's desk with the slot in the top. Everybody in class dropped in cards for their classmates.

I recalled that long-ago ritual as I paid for the box of cards featuring my favorite representatives of the younger set, the Peanuts crew, with Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy and the gang.

It's not that I have a group of classmates to recognize at this point in my life, but I know quite a few folks who can use a smile. These folks are the targets of my Valentines.

There are a number of different messages I can chose from. There's a dejected Charlie Brown saying "Valentine's Day makes you do strange things."

And another shows Charlie Brown with a puzzled look on his face, making a sandwich. The message: "Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter like an Unrequited Valentine's Day."

Like the Peanuts gang, children have a refreshing view of this word "love." In honor of the season, I went in search of the definitions given by the kids.

My research led me to a treasure trove of insights by young philosophers (four to eight years old) in response to the question, "What is love?"

Eight-year-old Rebecca said, "When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her, even though his hands have arthritis, too."

Seven-year-old Danny said, "Love is when my Mommy makes coffee for my Daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him to make sure the taste is OK."

Tommy, a wise 7-year old, said, "Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well."

At age eight, Jessica had some specific advice on the subject. She said, "You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget."

Five-year-old Elaine said, "Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken."

Pet lover Mary Ann, age four, said, "Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day."

And Bobby, wise beyond his seven years, said, "Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."

For Billy, age 4, the definition was simple. "When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth."

It's hard to beat the wisdom of the children.



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