Teep is the youngest member of our tribe (family). The bébé. As a result he often gets picked on by the rest of us (in good fun) about being the baby. He was stinking cute as a kid with his fiery red hair and temper to match.
Every so often he does something REALLY cute without even realizing it or meaning to do it which spawns a lifetime of family jokes. For example, he once promised my mother a “Free Diner” (cooked by him) for her birthday one year… I think he ended up cooking her Kraft Dinner and hot dogs. haha! By simply forgetting that extra “n” in dinner he created a world of fun for all of us older siblings who love a good laugh. We have all done it from time to time, but the most enduring of all these “mistakes” is levo.
When Teep was small he attended an elementary school, like most children do. This elementary school, like most elementary schools, held “visual arts” classes (glorified arts ‘n’ crafts) for students to participate in. The projects were never difficult–usually involving paint, glue and Popsicle sticks to create a picture of some kind. These pictures were then usually brought home and put on display on the fridge until the next picture was created.
Teep was quite the little arts ‘n’ crafter. Being the bébé, his pictures were highly celebrated by my mom and were left on display for weeks on end. One day when he was six or seven Teep came home with a lovely picture specifically for my mom. It may have been for a Mother’s Day gift or something of the like. I can’t remember what the picture was of–it was probably full of rainbows, butterflies and hearts. However, as he was learning to write at the time, inscribed on the picture were three little words:
Teep Levos Mommy!
I can’t remember if my mom was able to decipher his ‘hidden message’ immediately or if it took her a minute, but I DO remember that his little picture was on the fridge for months and months… and that immediately thereafter my mom began replacing “I love you” with “Levo!” when she would tell us that she loved us.
Well, it stuck. To this day–some 10 years later–my family continues to use “Levo” both in great fun while playfully mocking Teep but also to say “I love you” to each other. The Hubster and I have even adopted it and even he says “Levo!” to me without realizing it. So, if you ever want to tell someone you love them but don’t think you’ll have time to get out all three of those words, please feel free to use our condensed version and levo those around you. :)
Teep’s probably going to be a wee bit embarrassed that I told you our family secret. I levo it!