i never

I know "I never" as a drinking game, but on the whole, I try to avoid using the words never or always because we change.  I never forward those emails, the ones that tell you to, to not just one but five others, or else you’ll have bad luck, or never get a date, or lose your money and be poor, so poor you won’t be able to afford Internet access anymore.  I’m not forwarding on the email I received today, twice actually–once from my step-sister and once from my father–but I will post it here because it made me cry, because I can, because this is mine, and I’m thankful for it. 

I feel lucky today, lucky that I have so much love in my life.  Wonderful caring friends who cry with me, who make me laugh, who help me make light of things that aren’t easy to make light of.  I’ve been having a hard day, a really hard day, but you know what?  I’m so lucky.  So lucky because I’m surrounded by life.  And I love mine, especially when Linus crawls on my lap and helps me cry.

My cousin has a daughter who was about two at the time.  She hit the MID on his knee with her plastic toy hammer.  He pretended that she hurt him and began to fake-cry.  She responded instantly in tears and sobs.  She was so sad that she had hurt someone.  He had to laugh, to show her his boo-boo was only make-believe.  Her genuine love was not.


A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, "What does love mean?"

The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:

"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- age 8

"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different.

You just know that your name is safe in their mouth."

Billy – age 4

"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other"

Karl – age 5

"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 – age 6

"Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired."

Terri – age  4

"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 –  age 7

"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 – age 8

"Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen." 

Bobby – age 7 (Wow!)

"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,"

Nikka – age 6
(we need a few million more Nikka’s on this planet)

"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday." 

Noelle – age 7

"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 – age 6

"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 – age 8

"My mommy loves me more than anybody .

You don’t see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night."

Clare – age 6

"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken."

Elaine-age 5

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford."

Chris – age 7

"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day."

Mary Ann – age 4

"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones."

Lauren – age 4

"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you." (what an image)

Karen – age 7

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn’t think it’s gross."

Mark – age 6

"You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget."   

Jessica – age 8

And the final one — Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge.

The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child.

The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.

Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.

When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said,

"Nothing, I just helped him cry"

When there is nothing left but God, that is when you find out that God is all you need. Take 60 seconds and give this a shot! All you do is simply say the following small prayer for the person who sent you this.

Father, God, bless all my friends in whatever it is that You know they may be needing this day! And may their life be full of your peace, prosperity and power as he/she seeks to have a closer relationship with you. Amen.



  1. well, thanks a lot for helping ME cry. sheesh. I've seen this forward going around but never tire of it. I don't know why, since I normally have a low tolerance for cheesiness. It just reminds me of something inside…I hate being a grown-up sometimes.

  2. Its way nice and even cute, but I doubt that a 7 year old knows Robert Redford from Captain Kangaroo.

    As with about half the stuff on the web you really have to question its authenticity.

    I mean we live in a world were our country is run by a bunch of conspirators and liars. Take Karl Rove for example…how much more non-authentic can you get.

    So we live in a world where we take so much on face value that it becomes part of our own reality. You know like those people on TV …most do not represent a cross section of the Heartland of America.

    The reality is most young kids have only one parent who is working most of the time. I doubt if you asked those kids what love is that you would get any responses even close to that list. But now that reality would not be so warm and fuzzy at Xmas would it….


  3. "Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."
    ~ Bobby (age 7)

    I like that. I think I'll take his advice and do just that this Christmas.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. i like to check out your blog but it always seems funny to me that you (and those who read your posts) take yourself so seriously.
    i do wonder what you will come to think of all of this in the years to come.

  5. Here's to having the kind of "I'll do your toenails for you" kind of love. Heartwarming post Stephanie.

    Ciao for now…


  6. Hey Stephanie,

    I got the same email today from my girlfriend Kari. I put it on my blog as well. I think it is a nice reminder that it is the little things other see that shows love. Not just grand gestures.

    And for the reader who thinks a 7 year old doesn't know who Robert Redford is. Honey, they know what a blowjob is. Give them some credit please….


  7. Stephanie,
    I love this post!!! It made me cry…and even though I'm sentimental…I love being in love, the thought of being in love and others being in love!!!

  8. I always love reading forwards that contain quotations from kids (although, like you, I never send them along). I miss the days when I wasn't so encumbered by others' opinions and could (and did) speak my mind at will.

  9. not that it matters really… but this sounds like it was written by an adult. the names gave it away. Bobby? Cindy? Unless these professional people did this survey in the 1960s…

  10. Oh, it doesn't matter if the quotes were real kids, or kids from a few decades ago, or well meaning adults who know that quotes from small children are easier to absorb, as we acknowledge their lack of guile, their purity. The sentiment, regardless of origin, is always a quick reminder to pause and let our empty selves refill with emotion, then to tip the blessings back out onto those we love, and even those we we may not love but need a sprinkling of joy.

  11. i bought my daughter a squish ball from a street vendor in manhattan a few months ago. she finds it in her toybox today and says, "mommy, why did you buy this for me?" so i say, sort of absentmindedly, "because i thought it would make you feel happy." then i started thinking about how i want her to know that it's not material things that make us feel truly happy, so i say to her, "but it's not stuff like toys that makes us REALLY happy, is it?" and she says, "no." i say, "what is it, then?" and she smiles, looks at me and doesn't even pause. "it's god, mommy," smiles and continues to play.

    she's lovely. your post reminded me of this.

  12. I really don't think these quotes are real. And besides, talking about love so overtly just ruins it. I agree with the poster who said you guys are taking yourselves too seriously.

  13. Stephanie: Here's to "not" taking ourselves too seriously. I never do…not good for the body, soul or mind.


  14. Irony is dead. I think it went out with the arrival of the Bush Administration. You are definitely not helping resurrect it.

  15. I was meaning to post under better circumstances, but things didn't get better in time for me to share some good news and also come to SK's 'defense' so I will limit myself to just coming to SK's defense. I 'googled' my name recently and found an instance in which someone invoked my name (my name was placed in quotes) in criticizing SK. I was at first disappointed, but good came of it because it drew me to come back and read this blog, a blog that I found quite inspirational a year ago. There is not much for me to say to the person who seems to have misused my name other than to note that the good news I was hoping to share was a chance for SK's readers to submit a name for a fairly sophisticated consumer electronics device that we were hoping would compete with the iPod sometime next year. Things are not moving as quickly as I would have liked and a recent medical setback makes it unlikely that we are going to be able to accept and process any submissions anytime soon. SK, thanks for continuing to write for yourself and others. I am most probably going to have a very tough week; however, it's very likely that I had not started reading your blog after my accident a few weeks ago things would have been much worse.

    All best wishes,


  16. Thanks for this post, Stephanie. I've been dealing with a lot of stuff for awhile now — over a year, at least; about the only thing that consistently makes me smile — day in, day out — is my other half. And I've noticed that she can light me up even after some of my darkest days. Hearing her say my name, on occasion, can be a near-religious experience.

    As far as taking myself too seriously, that's one thing of which I've never been accused.

    Well, maybe not never…


  17. And also, what are "professional people?" Are they people who work in the professions (law, engineering, etc.), or are they professionals at being people? Such an odd description. It's as though whoever wrote this wanted to lend an air of authority to what follows, but can't actually claim to be citing some sort of sociological controlled experiment on "love and children," so the author describes them as professional… people. Bizarre.

  18. I loved this fwd. Earlier this year when I was in charge of favors for a girlfriend's bridal shower, I printed these out and used them as tags on the gifts. Guests loved it!

  19. I consider my self fairly cynical, but some (not most)of these comments are so cold. Commenters, please lighten up. Sure a 7 year old could know who Robert Redford is. My 5 year old son knows what "disco outfits" are. Picking apart the definition of professional people? Come on! The quotes are wonderful and really are things a kid would say. Obviously these jaded sad commenters don't have kids or know any kids well enough to realize that kids say this stuff. Last week, my son told me I was "the best kntter in the world, even if I stink." Thanks Stephanie for posting this, it made me feel good.

  20. I have received this forward several times over the years, in several variations. I have always questioned it's authenticity and quickly deleted it.

    Today, reading it in your blog it meant something to me. I had fought with my husband last night and today was feeling raw and vulnerable.

    I forwarded it to my husband. he just responded with, "I love you more than money, pictures, or food." Those reading this may find that a stupid response, but to me… well it's giving me a very good reason to shut down my laptop and head home from work early!


  21. see here in the heartland of america we may not have the same level of sophistication as the east coast nor do we have the hipness of the west coast but …..we do have good BS detectors.

    and no our kids by age 7 have better things to do then spend too much time in front of the tv set nor have they been exposed to trash talk and know what a spam sausage job is at that age.

  22. wow, thx so much for posting this
    I fully agree with the little boy who said "Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."

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