Little Things Make a Difference

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We have a silly tradition in our neighborhood. Around holidays, various families like to leave anonymous surprises at each others' doors. Around Valentines' Day, people do something called heart attacking, which means attaching a bunch of heart-shaped notes on a neighbor's front door.(I know this can be a disrespectful term for those who've experienced the devastation of a real heart attack. That's just what everyone calls it.) My family has been heart attacked many times. It's fun and always makes us feel loved and appreciated when we see read the bright colored notes.

This morning, I noticed my neighbors across the street had been attacked with four large multi-colored hearts on their door, complete with notes written in crayon. This family moved here about two years ago, and in my memory, they've never had this happen to them before. I smiled, happy that someone had thought of them. (I swear it wasn't me, but I wish it were.)

Later on, as I walked outside to take out the trash, I noticed the mom had just arrived home with her kindergarten-age son. They stood, halfway up the walkway to their door, staring at the notes. I took out one trash can and then another as they read the notes. There were only four little notes, yet they stood there still. Perhaps the little boy was reading the notes himself. Or maybe they were trying to guess who left the notes. Either way, they were obviously impressed. The small gesture made a difference.

It touched me, reminding me how much everyone needs a little love. Sometimes at Valentine's Day, we think only of romantic love. (Me especially--I've been writing kissing scenes all week. That's just where I am in my book.) But seeing my neighbors this morning, I think maybe it's time to expand my circle of love a little this week. Everyone needs to feel appreciated, loved, and liked.