Valentine’s Day isn’t really my thing. They say you either love it or hate it, but I am indifferent. It’s a nice excuse to make a fancy dinner or to partake in overpriced chocolates, but my husband and I don’t typically make a big deal of it.
I have never been one for grand gestures; I much prefer a solid intention and genuine regard. An expensive diamond necklace may as well be a greasy bike chain if not given with authenticity- meaning, one must match the gift to the giftee. My husband knows I do not care for jewelry, so if he were to give me the aforementioned necklace, it would actually be slightly insulting. My point is that I truly treasure not that which can be held or worn or displayed, but those daily expressions of selfless love that do more for relationships than any shiny bauble could ever hope to. Those quiet moments are abound in our family, serving to gently tug at heart strings throughout the busy, chaotic mess that is life. My husband is particularly good at it, and that is why I am writing this post. This season of our lives has tried diligently to drag us down, but my husband has beaten it at every turn with his ruthlessly upbeat attitude and unique form of realistic optimism. Patrick, you are my saving grace, my beacon, my reason. Nearly nine years of marriage, and yet I still feel as blessed as the day we said “I do.” Your ability to pull me out of a funk is impeccable; I’d be lost without your distinct lame-yet-hilarious jokes and gentle prodding. Everyone says we are basically the same person, and even we have joked that perhaps you are just a figment of my imagination, but that cannot be true. You are infinitely more patient than I, as nothing else can explain how you’ve lasted this long with my crazy, moody self.
I love that you let me have the good fried eggs, the ones whose yolks I didn’t destroy.
I love that you insist so genuinely that the burned part is just more flavor.
I love when you tell me that I look nice even though I didn’t do anything differently that day.
I love that you still dress up for holidays, even if it’s just us.
I love that you remember tiny details like how my hair was styled when you first saw me, or what dress I wore that time you were my server at Applebee’s after the high school Valentine’s day dance.
I love that you don’t make fun of me for still listening to Hanson.
I love that you get up and dance with Abigail after every Dick Van Dyke Show or I Love Lucy, no matter how tired you are.
I love that we can still talk for hours and never run out of things to say.
I love that you are always my advocate, knowing exactly what to say when I am at a loss for words.
I love that five months ago, you helped me achieve our dream of having a natural childbirth. There is absolutely no way I could have done it without you; you were my champion. Even when you had no words, your eyes never left me, and that spoke volumes.
I love your passion for knowledge, and that you are able to answer any question, no matter how silly or simple, without ever making me feel inadequate.
I love how you love, with intuition and boundless generosity. You are a prime example of how to love with actions, not just words. Our children will grow up knowing just how deeply you care for them, and there is no Hallmark card or box of chocolates that can express just how grateful I am for that.
Happy St. Valentine’s Day, my love.
(This is a day early, I know. No patience, remember?)