Tiny Love Stories: ‘How Come You Rarely Told Me You Loved Me?’


One morning the cat didn’t come back. We searched for Lionel most of a summer. We thought his tabby coloring was unique, but we later found his look-a-likes around the corner, at shelters, online. Each time our hearts soared. Lionel! He had been a needed gift for our youngest child. We never imagined he would disappear. Can you ever? Recently, an insistent tabby has been appearing at our doorstep, yowling. I texted his photo to the children, now grown. Could it be? No, too big, too gray, too long ago. His collar reads “River.” He brings memories rushing back. — Christine Kouwenhoven

By 16 I was already in college. I was so smart. Getting so educated. I had so passed my parents by! Psych 101 stressed the importance of telling children you love them. I asked my mother, “How come you rarely told me you loved me?” She replied, “Haven’t I always said how brilliant you are? How creative? How beautiful? How generous? How when you were born, I got the best gift in the world?” I said, “Yes, but you didn’t say you love me.” She sighed. “Oh, my dear idiot girl, that was me saying I love you!” — Tamara Robin Jasper

It began at Plimoth Plantation, a living history museum dedicated to the life of the pilgrims in 1627. I arrived as an actor and learned the history. Two months later, Aaron arrived as a historian and learned the acting. We spent the summer devising innocent reasons for our unrelated characters to be in the same space together; there weren’t many. Sometimes, though, on slow afternoons, with the town deserted, I could pull him into an empty house by his ruffled collar and steal a kiss. Engineering those moments was difficult. Nine years and a baby later, loving him is easy. — Jessica Doughtery

The birth parents who placed me on a street corner in Seoul and hoped for the best seem like hazy spirits in a dim prologue to my Technicolor American childhood. All my life, I’ve devoted my filial love to the parents who raised me. In the house they built by hand, they taught me to reach for them and beyond them, toward college, career, contentment. I became a professor, wife and mother. On my birthday this year, I beam a message back across the oceans: All is well with me. Thank you. — Tara Fee


Tiny Love Stories: ‘How Come You Rarely Told Me You Loved Me?’