Saturday, April 27, 2013

X: X's and O's

I remember when I first learned what X’s and O’s stood for as a little girl. I would cover the cards and drawings that I made for people with a thousand abbreviated hugs and kisses. I wanted my friends and family to know that I loved them so very much, and in my little mind, a paper full of X’s and O’s was the perfect way to prove my love.

As I grew older, my obsession with writing a zillion X’s and O’s started to fade. Soon, I found myself writing them only on rare occasions. My mom, however, still is a big X’s-and-O’s fan. She signs all her cards to my son and daughter with a huge string of them. For the longest time, my children didn’t pay these letters any mind. However, since they are now reading, they finally asked me what this strange ‘word’ means.

I explained to them that X’s and O’s in cards and letters stands for hugs and kisses. I told them that it is an easy and quick way to show someone that you are sending them your love. Now my house has turned into a giant Valentine’s Day mailbox. It is filled with countless papers covered with X’s, O’s, and carefully drawn hearts. As my kids love to say, every day is Valentine’s Day here. It’s important to tell everyone that we love them, and we aren’t afraid to show it!

In a way, I am overjoyed to see my kids express their love for others so openly and freely. I remember that my family was much more closed when I was growing up and it sometimes left me wondering if everyone truly loved me. But my kids will never have that problem. They are my little cupids, spreading love, hugs, and kisses wherever they go—all year round. And my family no longer hesitates to return some of that affection.

Do you ever wonder how much more beautiful this world would be, if only we would be more open about loving others? Just seeing how much my children’s love has opened my own heart over the years has convinced me that love is a powerful thing. With love, anything is possible and the possibilities are truly endless.

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