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Love Is In the Air
Mommy Musings
Teresa Hammond mug 3
Teresa Hammond

I’ve fallen madly in love and it’s having a crazy effect on my family as result.

With Valentine’s Day this week I couldn’t help but reflect on my good fortune of the depth of this feeling and how it’s tilted my world a bit sideways.

That’s the funny thing about falling in love, isn’t it? You’re never completely ready for how your world will be altered by the simple swelling of your heart.

While many may perceive this to be exclusive to a partner or companionship, the act of falling in love actually transcends more than that. As a parent, I still recall the feeling of my heart swelling at the birth of my two children. Each love affair different from the other.

I still recall the moment my son, my first, took my heart. Just moments following his birth, blue beanie, chubby cheeks and swaddled tight, as our eyes locked I knew I was a goner forever. He made me a mom. A title I had fought six years to acquire; had finally arrived.

The arrival of my daughter and our love story was a bit different. Her arrival was a bit more challenging, completely more exhausting and it truly wasn’t until she and I were alone that I was able to see the love in her eyes. My inquisitive one, she arrived in the delivery room surveying her company, our connection would have to wait. The love affair was there, however, all the same.

Prior to earning that title, I knew what it meant to fall in love traditionally speaking with their father. Truth be told, our fur babies also made my heart swell as we brought them home and took on the pet responsibility (pre-kid).

Which brings me to the most recent love affair that I’ve shared a bit about in a previous column, as well as in the February/March edition of the 209 Magazine. The addition of our black lab puppy Charlotte has indeed spun our home for the better.

There’s just something about a puppy that breathes a different life into a home.

As the kids and I navigate life now that they are 11 and 14, things can be a bit serious at times, but then there’s Charlotte. Listening to my children dote on her, treat her as a younger sibling (no, we’re not crazy) and care for her makes my heart swell all the more.

The magic she’s brought to our home, the laughter and the head shakes are absolutely priceless.

The decision to take on a puppy is a big one. Fortunately for the three of us, I tend to be a bit impulsive. That’s honestly the only explanation I can give for why I felt a puppy was the right choice at this stage in our lives, but it was the right one.

Charlotte is smart, energetic, loving, playful, funny and a great companion. No that’s not her dating profile, but it is several of the many reasons she makes my heart swell.

So, as each of you embrace the “holiday” which some love and others love to hate, I encourage you to celebrate what makes your heart swell. Maybe it’s not a spouse, partner, significant other or maybe it is. Maybe it’s not a child, children or a dog. Maybe it’s your garden, a collection of treasured books, a volunteer opportunity or a life dedicated to something you love – celebrate that. Love, as they say, is in the air and it would be a pity for it to go wasted.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.