Today is Valentine’s Day and I’m feeling very contented. And this week, as I made cards for toddlers and watched my daughter make a card for her daddy, I began to think how Valentine’s Day has changed for me so much over the years.
There were the classroom parties of my youth, which I barely remember save for the mandatory card to every member of the class policy. There was the agonizing choosing who go which card from the box. (I gave friendly cards to the kids ‘I didn’t really like’ and notes with hints of affection to those I was fond of.) And, on the flip side, I analyzed every happy face, heart, and ‘with love’ at the end of the notes I received trying to read into other people’s feelings for me. Gracious I’m glad those days are gone!
In high school and college the goal was to never spend the evening alone and fill it instead with a date with a boyfriend or a gathering of girlfriends. My insistence on NOT being alone on Valentine’s Day kept me safely from a tub of ice cream, Bridget Jone’s Diaries, and a pity-party, but didn’t rid me of my fear of being alone. Being a teen and in my 20’s was wonderful at times, but when it came to love it was also often brutal. (I know ya’ll feel me! Love in our 20’s can be SO emotional and SO stupid at times!) I’m so glad I’m not there any more too!
Enter my husband.
I dated my husband in high school, but when we married as adults I gained a man who was more intelligent, caring, detail oriented, hardworking, and funny than I even knew at the time I met him. (It is a real gift to know someone for more than 16 years and fall in love with them more everyday.) For example, in high school I had no idea that my boyfriend would one day be my husband/the-king-of-the-grand-gesture (,which is a bit amusing because in contrast, I’m a fan of ordering one’s own gifts and running ideas past someone in advance.) So, since gaining my man, I’ve had to step up my game for celebrations like Valentine’s Day. This one-up-manship has resulted in fancy dinners, symphony tickets, romantic breakfasts in bed, surprise trips to Vegas, and…well, let’s just say, some of the biggest and best things we’ve ever done have happened on Valentine’s Day. Pre-kids, Valentine’s Day was always magical, but I’m still glad I’m here – today – instead.
This year I am really looking forward to celebrating another wonderful year with my husband AND with the other love of my life, our daughter. Each day, this family we are creating blows me away more and more. And today more than ever, I am reminded by the coffee waiting for me in the morning, my clean kitchen, our family dinner, our bills being paid on time, and a shared folding of a load of laundry that, though it may look different today that it did pre-kids, my husband is still the king-of-the-grand-gesture. The gestures just look a little different than they did in our 20’s. And honestly, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
– With all my love