You know, when I first approached the editors of the Tribune Chronicle with the idea for my column, I pled my case quite simply.
"People are so beaten down by headlines about sadness, misfortune, and overall dread. Why don't we try to give them a little something to make them smile?" said I.
And, as luck would have it, I am the one who's smiling most broadly as a result of "My Sentiments Exactly." Case in point, a little e-mail message I received from Angie Saxson of Girard the other day.
It is titled "What Does Love Mean?" and it goes a little something like this:
A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4- to 8-year-olds and the answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. Judge for yourself. Oh, and I hope you don't mind my few editorial comments.
"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love."
- Rebecca, 8.
Right on, Rebecca.
"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth."
- Billy, 4.
Safe and sweet.
"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."
- Karl, 5.
Yep, that sounds about right, Karl.
"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs."
- Chrissy, 6.
Or all of them, Chrissy.
"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired."
- Terri, 4.
Sometimes, even in your sleep!
"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."
- Danny, 7.
Hmm. It may be that Mommy needs a little caffeine of her own, but still.
"Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss."
- Emily, 8.
I know for a fact that my son Kyle agrees with this sentiment, Emily.
"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."
- Bobby, 7.
And you hear a whole room full of happy from the giving, not the receiving, Bobby.
"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate."
- Nikka, 6.
Wow, that's infinitely insightful for a 60-year-old, let alone a 6-year-old. I have to wonder if this one's a plant. Either way, it's spot on. Entire countries could benefit from following this one, Nikka - if that's really your name ...
"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, and then he wears it everyday."
- Noelle, 7.
Let's just hope he's washing it daily, too, Noelle.
"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well."
- Tommy, 6.
True that, Tommy.
"During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore."
- Cindy, 8.
That's his job, Cindy.
One last one:
"Love is when you feel like the whole world is on your shoulders and one very special 10-year-old single-handedly lifts it off with a hug."
- Patty, 41.
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.