Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch is a favorite Valentine’s Day book in our family. To quote from the dust jacket,
In a little town on a wintery day, a postman delivers a mysterious package tied up with a big pink bow to a lonely man named Mr. Hatch. “Somebody loves you” the note says.
“Somebody loves me,” Mr. Hatch whispers as he dusts his living room. “Somebody loves me,” Mr. Hatch whistles as he does errands in town. “Who,” Mr. Hatch wonders, “could somebody be?”
This is a wonderful children’s book that sees Mr. Hatch come alive after learning that someone loves him, and then deflated when the postman returns weeks later to say he had delivered the package to the wrong address. That’s not how the story ends, as you might expect. The town discovers the reason Mr. Hatch has returned to his solitary ways and they let him know that plenty of people really do love Mr. Hatch. We read the book aloud last evening during a family Valentine’s dinner and our kids became 4-years old again.
Today a friend gave us a gift that reminded us – in several ways – of the joys of giving love. She had read my blog about saying goodbye to Lilly, our Sussex Spaniel who died last December, and bought the book Old Dogs are the Best Dogs for us as a way of remembering Lilly. I had quoted from the book’s opening essay in my post, so she guessed – correctly – that we’d love it.
On the way home today, Claire read aloud from the book and I was struck, once again, about the joys of giving love. The section Claire read went like this:
Some years ago, a humor contest in The Washington Post invited readers to come up with Item One from an underachiever’s to-do list. First prize went to: 1. Win the respect and admiration of my dog.
It is no big deal to love a dog, they make it so easy for you. They find you brilliant even if you are a witling. You fascinate them, even if you are as dull as a butter knife. They are fond of you even if you are a genocidal maniac: Hitler loved his dogs, and they loved him.
We all laughed, but it reminded me of all the love that’s come my way – deserved or not – through the years. Valentine’s Day is a good day for those memories and also a good time to recall those words of the famous philosophers Lennon & McCartney:
And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make.
Happy Valentine’s Day. Tell someone you love them.
More to come…
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