Tomorrow’s Valentines Day. I am not a fan and never have been. Fortunately, my husband feels similarly or we’d be in trouble. I resent being told when I should express my feelings for the person with whom I’ve chosen to spend my life with and with whom I have raised two children. I think that I express my love every single time I make a meal. Which brings me to today’s topic. Food is Love.
I’m not even talking just romantic love here. A good friend told me that her husband makes everyone’s lunch everyday. She told him she was sorry that he had to do that, and she would find a way to switch off with him and make it more equitable. She said he just looked at her and said, “I consider it an act of love to make lunches for my family.” After wishing I had included “Loves to make lunches” on my husband application form, I realized that he was absolutely right. Unlike school lunches though, which I’ve always utterly loathed making, I have another way to show the people in my life that I love them through food.
Dinner. Dinner is sacred in my house. Everyone is expected home at 6 p.m. where we sit together and talk about the day to greater or lesser success. Some meals are fraught, some are silly. But I get to check in with my teenagers – look at them, hear what’s happening in their lives. I have failed as a parent on so many fronts, but this one I get to own. My boys are healthy, have a great understanding of the relationship between good health and good food, and what I am super thrilled about is that they both stop eating when they’re full. They seem to have the healthy relationship with food that I always longed for. While I pick at their unfinished meals, they’re happily saying their stuffed. Yay me.
This Valentine’s Day, people will make dinner reservations, buy chocolate, make intimate meals for two. Love is food and food is love. Or lust. Or Hallmark coercion. Either way, food is central. Food is the food of love, not music, silly old Shakespeare. So eat on, my friends, eat on.