After a Twitter conversation with Karen Pickering and Ben Pobjie, I'm suggesting that so-called 'unconditional love', at least for couples, is a dubious ideal.
What we have, and what we need to cultivate well, is conditional love. A sample:
conditions are precisely why we love someone: that they have certain qualities, and not others. It is the specifics - of their life and psyche - that make the love what it is. We need, not unconditional love, but judicious, honest, hard-working love - love that creates and appreciates conditions, instead of purporting to dismiss them.
It began with a cup of tea in bed, followed by gifts and hand-drawn cards from the kids (hopping madly). Then more gifts from yours truly, and a small poem. (Doggerel: the gift that keeps on giving... laughter.)
After breakfast (which may've included hundreds 'n' thousands on toast), Ruth meandered off to a café with her pen, notebook and new Noodler's Black Swan on Australian Rose ink, while I cleaned and washed up.
Now for a romantic lunch, with only the two of us... and two children still hopping and chattering about Ewoks.
Happy birthday, my love, and thank you for our full catastrophe.