The drama, hope, and heartache of Valentine’s day…
I can remember being in high school on Valentine’s day watching the office fill with balloons and flowers and waiting for the long announcement listing the names of students who had items to collect. Many were receiving signs of affection from their boyfriend or girlfriend or BFF. Some may have been doted on by an anonymous ‘secret admirer’. And others were being spoiled by their parents or grandparents as to not be left out of the experience of this corporate holiday.
I would hope with all my might that my name may be on that list .called to the office. If not to collect something from a crush, at least something from my parents, to feel thought of. I contemplated sending myself flowers more than once… I was never called to the office. Instead, the whole experience left me deflated and resentful. We girls put way too much emphasis on this date!
Fast-forward almost 20 years and this holiday is more important now than it ever was, yet my expectations for romance or grand gesture are nearly non-existent.
On February 13, 2011, Cody asked me out for an official date to take place on Valentine’s day. It took courage for Cody to ask me out and at the time I was in a place where I probably shouldn’t have agreed, but he was so nice and sweet. We went to Green Acres and discovered our mutual affection for Brandy Old Fashioneds. That was the start of our forever. We took things slow and fell in love. I will always thank this corporate holiday for giving him the added edge to initiate our first date.
One year he wanted to surprise me. He bought flowers the day before and left them on my porch for me to discover. Upon letting the dogs out in the morning, I found a dozen frozen roses that immediately wilted once I brought them inside. On Valentine’s 2014 I planned an elaborate dinner for us and there was a full moon. I talked about the meal we’d be putting together and the night photos we’d take and thought for sure I was setting the perfect stage for a proposal on our third anniversary. I was sure it was going to happen and when it didn’t, I was crushed. (Remember what I said about us gals putting too much emphasis on this holiday? The proposal came a week later.)
As the years have gone by we take the position of no gifts but rather spend time together. Our one-on-one time together has to lobby against work, home, farm and Miss Connie. That is the balance of a married couple and of parents. Certainly, the girl inside me wonders if he’ll come home with flowers or a card or make some proclamation, but the woman is so glad for this busy and beautiful life we have and that he is the one I am sharing this made-up holiday with.
Valentine’s 2017 marked Connie’s 22nd month. I dressed her in hearts and I did the same and we took selfies and photos to capture it. She spent the day at daycare and when I picked her up, she showed off the crafts she had made that day… the word “love” with the V formed by her footprints tugged at my mama heart. My most precious Valentine.
When I returned home I unpacked her bag to discover Valentines from the other kids at daycare. I was embarrassed! The other daycare families coordinated Valentines to exchange–my baby girl who only goes one day out of the week was included. Yet somehow it did not dawn on this mama to send Valentines for her to share with her friends. Even after seeing other parents post images of juice boxes and pretzels converted into some Pinterest-inspired Valentine it did not occur to me that I should do the same for daycare. A major mom fail! This is only the beginning I am sure…
Cody thought I was being silly, that I was putting ‘too much emphasis’ on gifts for kids who would not know whether we participated or not…. on creating an experience for Connie that she certainly would not remember. I sent our daycare provider a message apologizing and demanding training for first-time daycare mamas! Then I realized my friend who goes to the same provider has two months less experience than I do, and she nailed it! Oy vey!
Well, we’re going to rock St. Patrick’s Day! 😀