Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all! It’s been a crazy week, with the jerky polar vortex and farty new-ish dog and 20+ inches of snow (that was yesterday, today it’s 52 degrees outside, so that’s a nice runny mess). To add, Hubbin went out of town right before the storm hit, and to be nice, he went out and got stuff to stock the cabinets for me. And he totally proved that he listens to me, because the previous few days, I’d done nothing but complain about how there was nothing at all to snack on. So, he went and got me snacks. Awesome.
Except by that night, we’d eaten all the normal food, so snack food was all that was left. We finally dug ourselves out today and went out for real food and then off to the grocery store.
Today was simple; Hubbin and I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day. We usually have a decent meal together (today we took The Oldest One with us to our Valentine Lunch), but don’t exchange gifts. Over years of being on support sites, accompanied with talking to others, Valentine’s Day took on a different shape to me. I am extraordinarily blessed with a wonderful husband who puts God at the forefront of our marriage and, over the last year, has really taken our marriage into a whole new world. The last year has been better than ever, but even before that, we didn’t put much stock in Valentine’s Day.
It’s always been my opinion that along with the typical thoughts (that it’s a Hallmark holiday and a waste of money), I also truly believe it’s completely unnecessary. Over the years, I’ve seen Valentine’s Day bring nothing but heartache due to unmet expectations. Life isn’t a YouTube experience with extravagant expressions of “love”. Ladies, he either loves you every day of the year, and therefore Valentine’s Day is really just another day, or he doesn’t, and Valentine’s Day is just a forced expression of something someone either doesn’t feel or is uncomfortable because they are expected to express it in a way that isn’t what is natural. I, personally, don’t want roses because the calendar says it’s time. I want to come home on a random Tuesday to clean laundry, or see Hubbin walk in the door of my office with Buffalo Wild Wings to surprise me on a day when he knows (from random conversations) that I’ll be too busy to get away.
I want him to be able to tell from the look on my face that I can’t handle another moment and take the kids to Walmart; and he does, and he has. More than once. I want to walk in from work, bone tired, to the surprising smell of a home cooked meal.
I just, for the last 10 years or so, have not found love in flowers. I have, however, found it in the squeal of The Little One’s voice when she sees her Daddy. I’ve found it when Hubbin decided he wanted to start taking The Oldest One out on dressy dinner dates so she knows what to expect of men when she begins to date. I’ve found it in my darkest moments, when I am at a point where I can’t even love myself, and Hubbin loves me enough for the both of us. I’ve found it when the reality of the situation has buckled my knees, and he has held me up. I’ve found it in those pesky lines that are beginning to gather around my eyes; the ones that represent the smiles and laughter he’s given me.
I’ve heard it in his inflection when he sings Jesus Loves Me to the girls, or does the hand motions for Itsy Bitsy Spider. I saw it when our eyes met after The Little One came out of surgery and we saw her laying there, bloody and motionless. I saw it when he cradled me after I lost our first pregnancy, and he struggled to be strong while I fell apart. I’ve seen it every single day over the last (almost) eight years. And though some days it was easier to see than others, like any typical marriage, it’s always been there. Days I deserved it, and days I didn’t even deserve to know someone as wonderful as him. Over the last year in particular, when I see him, I not only see this wonderful man I married, I see God in and through him. In his actions and reactions. Through his forgiveness, his grace, his love for me and the kids, his dedication to our lives, and his insistence that we will finish this life in a way that is deeper, more passionate, more meaningful, more loving, more understanding, and just…better than the day we started it.
And I promise you, there isn’t a flower or piece of jewelry on this Earth that can do that.