Because Valentine’s Day means love letters—to anyone and anything
No matter how you see Valentine’s Day, there’s no way to escape it. You might think it’s some godforsaken Hallmark holiday, but the celebrations are still going to happen around you. You might consider VDay as the ultimate rip-off, but it’s still going to rip people off. There will be flowers and chocolates and candies and teddy bears everywhere.
So, instead of hating on February 14th, maybe just embrace the love instead. We all have it for someone or something, right?
To practice what we preach, the Wonder team decided to write our own love letters this year. And you know what became obvious? You can love anyone and anything; Valentine’s Day isn’t just for the romantics—or in romances—of us. Read some of them below:
Our timelines never seem to match, Sleep.
It’s unfortunate because, no matter how I try to seem capable and independent and totally fine without anyone, I must admit: I need you. I love it when we’re together, but I always seem to find reason to keep myself away.
I wish I could explain it, Sleep. By force of habit, I’ve trained myself to avoid you: work late into the night, stay up late doing nothing. I try to get in bed early so I can be with you sooner, but I can never seem to keep it up.
I’m sorry. It’s not you, it’s me.
But I do promise I’ll keep trying. For me. For our relationship. I’m gonna do it, Sleep. I’m going to fix my body clock eventually and make it up to you by dreaming long dreams and clocking in that REM.
’Til then, please bear with me and my commitment issues.
We met when we were 15 years old. It’s hard to admit that was more than a decade ago, but I hope you know that I’ve been grateful for you since day one. You came into my life in the midst of what teenage me thought was heartache and real life, and you rode the waves with me as the days slid into nights and into mornings.
I remember staying up late to speak to you, completely taking advantage of 24-hours’ worth of unlimited texts—it was still a new and expensive concept then, but one I eagerly saved my allowance for anyway. I don’t really remember everything that we talked about (I wish I did), but I do remember feeling comfortable and safe and understood.
That feeling hasn’t changed over the years, you know. We talk rarely now and see each other even less, but you still feel the same to me. We’ve both gained a few pounds, changed hairstyles, walked our separate graduation marches, started our careers, fell in love with people that didn’t love us back and even caused heartbreak ourselves—but you still feel the same to me. You’ve become a sort of home I run to whenever anything strikes north or south of normal.
I have no qualms about airing out the skeletons I’ve accumulated because I know you’ll look at me the same way. I have no problem telling you you’re stupid or what you’re doing is stupid because you tend to know it anyway (but if we’re being real, there are times when you need some convincing). You and I have lived days in Starbucks balconies, rotating between food and coffee and cigarettes. I can rest my head on your shoulder and you let me hug you for as long as I want.
You know this already, but I once dreamed of what it would be like to hold you a little closer—and I know you’ve thought of it, too. We’ve never crossed that line despite this once-upon-a-time mutual longing and part of me is glad that we didn’t. It means I get to keep you forever.
You and I both know we suck at relationships.
Holding on to you,
It’s me, mom. I’m likely writing this to a 16-year-old you because I like future-proofing and honestly, I don’t know what our relationship will be like when you hit puberty. Will you hate me? I hope not. Would I embarrass you? Not deliberately. But I wanted to write you because there are so many things I want to say to you but might not have the opportunity to do so, so here it goes.
You have three parents, two moms and a dad, you obviously know that but we can’t tell you enough how much we love and adore you. I’m sure you will have a lot of questions as you already do at the age of four. Surely, the why’s and how’s will evolve to more complicated inquiries and we would love to answer them as honestly as we possibly can.
As we’ve told you growing up, every family is unique and beautiful in their own way. Some kids are raised by their grandparents, some with just a mom or a dad and others with two dads, but please don’t be limited by the examples we’ve mentioned. The important thing is that regardless of family structure, the children are nurtured and loved.
It scares me sometimes that people around you or us may not understand and might even say hurtful things because our setup is different. But I hope we have shown you enough kindness to be understanding towards them instead but do speak up when necessary. Take the opportunity to educate those who are willing to listen but don’t force others to accept what they simply cannot. Choose your battles; you don’t owe the world an explanation, neither do you need their approval. But I hope that when all this becomes too much, you’ll always feel safe talking to us.
Life won’t be easy, but never ever forget what mom tells you: you can be anything you want to be. ANYTHING! So long as you put in work, the sky’s the limit. You can be a chef, a dentist or a hairdresser if you want to be. Never be confined with what other people say is a role/career just for men or women. There’s really no such thing; gender stereotypes were made up during a time when no one knew any better or were scared of the other sex. It’s the same with preferences; it’s not just girls that love pink or like to brush their hair and it’s not just boys that like to play ball or race cars. I’m writing all that down lest you forget. At four, I love that you already have varied tastes in movies, music and even toys. You sing along to Frozen or Moana just as you would to The Beatles or Jimi Hendrix. Playing cooking games are just as fun as shooting zombies for you and I really, really adore that. It just goes to show that stereotypes aren t something we are born with; they’re ingrained upon societies, sometimes by family, school and even our peers. That’s why we (your mom, dad and I) have always made a conscious effort to teach you that.
When the time comes and you find love for the very first time, I hope you let us meet the person you choose to be with. Be kind, be respectful—and I mean this in every sense of the word: sex, boundaries, etc.—and just be in love! If and when you get your heart broken, your parents will always be here to listen. It might feel like the end of the world, but trust me, it isn’t. It will hurt because that’s what happens when you fall in love and it just stops. Allow yourself time to feel it—to feel human and to process what you’ve been through cause that’s something I didn’t learn how to do. Then when you’re ready, get back up, take what you’ve learned and try again. There’s no winning or losing in love anyway.
Lastly, I want to talk to you about money because it’s important. I want you to have a comfortable life, one where you are not struggling to pay rent or your future child’s education. Don’t use money (right now, your allowance) to make yourself feel good (occasional indulgences here and there, sure) and be grateful instead—gratitude is the key to letting go of material things (read that somewhere). It might not make sense right now and I may not have always led by example, but I don’t want you to wait until you’re 30 to make the same mistakes I did. We’ll talk some more about it when you finally join the workforce.
And just in case I haven’t told you enough:
I love you.
You are my joy.
I’m proud of you, always.
I trust that you will always try and do the right thing.
I believe in you, always have, always will.
And I’m very, very grateful the universe gave me you.
Love you “a million and three thousand three hundred” times,
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So, who (or what) will you write a love letter to?
Art Macky Arquilla