I fondly remember the first Valentine’s Day my husband and I were together. Flowers delivered to me at work, a dinner date, and an amazing night. Without fail I received flowers to brighten my desk every year I worked outside of our home before we had children.
Our first Valentine’s Day as parents I wasn’t ready to leave our three-month old with a sitter so he brought dinner home to me. I remember him coming home with two boxes of chocolates for a pregnant me and our toddler the next year. Last year, with an infant, a toddler, and a job hunt in full swing, we didn’t really celebrate.
So, this year, with two toddlers who I’m more than ready to leave with a sitter, what do I want? Candy, flowers, jewelry, dinner out? Nope. I want my husband. I want his attention, no TV, no tantrums from the kids, no computers, tablets, phones, or iPods. No distractions. I just want to be his girlfriend again instead of his overly tired wife.
I want to talk until we’ve giggled, cried, laughed, and dreamed. I want to flip through songs (ok, maybe the iPod can stay!) and say, “Oh, remember when we saw them at ….”. I want those songs to make us feel what we felt when we first heard them. To remember the auditory clues of a life that has brought us to where we are.
I want to let go of the hang-ups I’ve picked up as a mother. To remember that this man doesn’t care if my stomach now has a pathway of stretch marks. He helped create the babies that left those marks and he was there when they came into this world. He has walked moonlit halls with those babies knowing he had to go to work in just hours and his wife needed those couple hours of sleep to get through another day of spit-up, diapers, and tears. He doesn’t care that I wear a size or two larger than I did on our first Valentine’s. My hair, my waist, my hips…they’re familiar territory now. In his eyes, I’m no different now than I was then. Except I am the mother to his children, I am his wife…I’m no different, but I am more.
I want to remember not to nag. That it doesn’t really matter who forgot to clean up after the kids had dinner. That while I swept, fed, diapered all day, he worked to bring money into our home. He worked for our future just as I did. No blame or ‘who did more’. I want to remember that this man has seen me at my worst and I him. He has seen me deliriously happy and has worked hard to make that happen. He has seen me lose, cry, triumph, laugh, be sick…We have held each other in happiness and sorrow.
What do I want for Valentine’s Day? Just him. In all that he does and all that he is…We’re not special or extraordinary people, but we have created a love that transcends who and what we are. We are more together than we will ever be apart.