The Love Song of J. Momfred Goosefrock*

February 14, 2010

I do a lot of kvetching about my kids, both in and out of the blogosphere, and there are good reasons for that.  Mainly, it’s because my children are demon spawn who plot against me in the night. 

Obviously, that’s not really it.  It’s partially because I believe that today’s moms are expected to be everything to everyone all the time, and the only way I know to ease the burden of these unrealistic expectations is to share my tough times with the (blog)world.  Mainly, though, I kvetch because I can.  For me, it’s always been easier to go negative – to whine, complain, mock derisively.  Sarcastic banter comes easier to me that solemn sincerity.

This leaves me in a pickle when it comes to choosing words for important occasions and, in our family, that includes Valentine’s Day.  On any given day, I can find myself overcome with the urge to tell the people I love just how strong my love is, but there aren’t many days when I can count on them to stand still and hear it, and not roll their eyes.  (Remember, I have a teenager.  Everything merits eye-rolling.)

Valentine’s Day is such a day, and yet, on my first February 14th with all three of our children, I find myself at a loss.  And so, rather than let this opportunity go by, rather than ignore the rare chance to kvell instead of kvetch, rather than allow myself to be speechless in the face of my overwhelming love for my family, I’m going to borrow, butcher, and steal.

How do I love thee?  I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. 
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities, or pride, so I love you
Because I know no other way, because that is how things are:
I am your mother, and we are kind to snails.

Come, let us roam the night together singing, “I love you.”
All through the night, “I delight in your love,”
And all through the day, all I want is to be home;
to rest my son’s head upon sweet dreams & contentment.

You see, I want a lot: to love with the hands wide open,
love with the doors banging on their hinges, and I do.
There were bells on the hill but I never heard them ringing. 
No, I never heard them at all, ‘til there was you.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours.

Lots and lots and lots of love,

Meryl at the Goose

*This post owes a debt to T.S. Eliot, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Pablo Neruda, Fleur Adcock, Langston Hughes, Cole Porter, Foo Fighters, Susan Cataldo, Rainer Maria Rilke, Marge Piercy, Lisa Loeb, and Meredith Wilson.


3 Responses to “The Love Song of J. Momfred Goosefrock*”

  1. Laura Love Says:


    I have not met you (that I know of), but your posts make me laugh every time, without fail. Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, eye rolling and all (and of course, with a teenager in the house, perhaps a little crush-related heartbreak to soothe…).

  2. meryl Says:

    Thanks, Laura! What a lovely thing to say on Valentine’s Day! It’s such a gift to have regular readers, and I look forward to the day when we (finally!) meet in person.

  3. Kelly Says:

    Meryl – You quoted Meredith Wilson! Now I’m torn between my love of ‘The Music Man’ and my love for you and your musings!

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