Sunday, January 19, 2014

Jennifer Lopez, cherish your son's love note when he is a teen

Jennifer Lopez was gushing earlier this week about the first love note she received from her son, Max. Remember to keep those love notes handy, J-Lo. When he enters his teens, you may need them as a reminder of his mother love, even if he doesn't show it.

Jennifer Lopez just got her first love note from her son Max that made her cry, but what she doesn’t know is that by saving that note she will have a lifelong source of tears beginning when her child becomes a teenager.
Ms. Lopez, 44, said on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on Wednesday that, "It says, 'I'll luv you beyond forever Mom.' I'll cry right now! Stop it!"

"It just made my whole life," the American Idol judge said of the handwritten message, which she also posted via Instagram.

Hang on to that note, J-Lo. Once Max hits his teenage years, you’re gonna need it like a child needs a security blanket.

When my son Ian, now 18, was little, he wrote to me, “I love you to the moon and back. I’m gonna marry you Mommy.”

As soon as he became a teen he coined the expression, “Mom’s touch burns like dragon fire.” He’s now 18 and can just about manage not to flinch when I try to hug him.

Actually, Lopez has a sporting chance that Max will not become a “touch-me-not” teen.

My sons Zoltan, 20, and Avery, 14, both came through the “Mom’s touch burns like dragon fire” stage and are back to being huggers again. My youngest son Quin, 10, is still a major hug monster.

When I saw Lopez’s story, my heart just turned over for her, but more for those aging love letters tucked away all over my house. I never did scrap books, but I have the notes squirreled away in books and in drawers.

In fact, Lopez inspired me to call my mom, 83, in New Jersey this morning to ask if she ever kept the love notes my brother, Adam, and I wrote to her.

“Oh, you’re killing me with this call,” she said. "I go looking for something else and instead up pops one of the love notes from your brother or you. I smile and cry at the same time. It’s crazy. I love finding them, but it totally wrecks me.”

I often feel deeply sad for my husband that he does not have a daughter to write love notes to her daddy. He has missed something truly precious because boys in our house don’t write lovey-dovey notes to Papa.

That means that as each son hits his teenage years, my husband lacks the secret weapon that has helped me to survive. When one of the boys is rude, or otherwise trying my patience and making me question why I ever had kids, I can go to their notes for moral support.

However, my husband and I both share the quirky joy of all those school-generated inadvertent love letters from our kids.

I am talking about the times when teachers assign essays with topics like, “My favorite person is…” and “My hero.”

Dad almost always makes it as the “hero” in the essays our sons have written.

I have noticed a few of those tucked away by my spouse, along with some misshapen pottery gifts from the boys when they were little.

Since Valentine’s Day is not far off, Lopez and other moms can add to their arsenal of love notes.

My mom used to have us write and draw with special Crayola crayons that allowed her to transfer those love notes by ironing them on to fabric for pillows and shirts.

Jennifer Lopez has her own clothing line and could take that a step further. My suggestion is for Lopez to solicit kid love notes from parents around the world in many languages and put them and Max’s note on wearable items.

Then, she could donate proceeds to struggling low-income parents – Wear the love and share the love.

No matter how Lopez decides to enshrine that adorable note, she now knows that, as a parent, nothing has a more lasting and powerful effect than the written words of a child we love. 

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