By Shelley Grieshop
Psychologists have searched for the true meaning of love since the beginning of time with minimal results.
The reason is simple: They've never posed the question to the experts under 4 foot tall.
So in observance of today's holiday (Sweetest Day, in case you've forgotten), the Daily Standard took to the playgrounds and tip-toed over sidewalk chalk to find out what preschoolers think love is. Their answers were priceless, as usual, although some can't be printed in this family publication.
"It's when your heart beeps really fast. That means you're in love with somebody," says Allyson Schritz, 6, during a break at Two By Two Child Development Center in Coldwater.
Schritz, who just lost her fourth tooth, wasn't the only child to describe love as a time of intense heart "beeping." But she was the only girl who admitted to being without a boyfriend, which must be devastating to her parents. "I love my cat Snowy," she adds, which explains why she doesn't need a boy in her life right now. "Snowy jumps on my lap no matter where I am."
Six-year-old Eric says you should kiss someone if you love them. To show his affection to his mother, he says proudly: "I'd really like to marry her."
Natalie Homan, another classmate at Two by Two, has the love sequence down pat.
"Well, you get a date and then you get married the next day and you give them a heart on Valentine's Day that says I love you with stickers all over it, like fishes," says the very out-of-breath preschooler.
Breea Liette, 5, will know when she's been bitten by the love bug, "because your heart tells you."
Liette is destined to fall passionately in love with an avid hunter.
"If I had a boyfriend I'd give him a big gun because I think that's what he would want because my daddy likes guns," she adds.
Children at Grace Land Preschool in Celina have their own opinion on the "deep, tender feeling of affection," as love is defined in the American Heritage College Dictionary.
"I love mommy and daddy and granny," says 4-year-old Cory Fortkamp. "But I really love mommy because she knows I don't like green beans."
Brett Schwieterman, 5, believes that true love means you'd walk on coals for your loved one, or worse.
"I always get sick on Wednesday nights," Schwieterman explains with a heavy sigh. "I started barfing the other night and mom got a bag for me. That's what you do when you love somebody and she loves me."
Alyssa Ann Adams wiggles her way between her parents when they try to show affection to one another, she says.
"Mommy and daddy hug each other and then they laugh when I try to get in the middle," she says.
The most "grown-up" answer came from Kimberly Gladhill who is 5 going on 25.
"Love is when people like you the way you are," she says with the innocence of a child whose best friend is Clifford the Big Red Dog.
And how do you know you're loved?
"It's kinda' like when my cat's purring, it means she loves me," Gladhill says. "And mommy loves me, too, cause she thinks I'm cute."