Valentine

 

Valentine,
Will you be mine?

We were young when we fell in love. I remember the calm and peace when I was with him and the uncertainty when he wasn’t there. Young love is urgency. An urgency so ironic when you really have all the time in the world.

What do you call two birds in love?
Tweethearts!

Barely a year after we met, we married. Outdoors by a lake, loved ones in folding chairs before us, we said our vows. Holding hands, looking in his eyes, time stood still for a moment when I said, “I will.”

We divvied household chores, responsibilities, nights to cook. We worked, we played, we were adults with the joy of kids, our separate interests counterpoint to a shared life. Love was my cold hand in his warm one as we jumped into our life together.

What do squirrels give for Valentine’s Day?
Forget-me-nuts!

Ten years in, we had two tiny girls. My world flipped. His flipped a bit later. Now parents and partners, we were a united team. Putting the kids first, always before ourselves, we had to remind ourselves to be sweethearts as well. We were connected by the tiny hands we held.

The children grew and life spun faster. Weeks filled with work, homework, rides to dance, scouts, lessons, cheering at games, photos, always photos, commemorating each event. Date night became more regular and more important. I often thought about how I couldn’t have done it without him. Though I didn’t always remember to tell him, love was knowing he’d always be there.

What did the calculator say to the pencil on Valentine’s Day?
You can count on me!

Twenty years in, we took an anniversary trip. Five days away from work and stress, kids and parenthood, responsibility and daily life. Five days to remind ourselves how important it was to be together.

It was the dawn of the turbulent teen years and our united team cracked a bit under the strain. But the years passed, as years always do, and we came out the other end. Love was standing arm-in-arm, admiring the young women our daughters had become.

What do farmers give their wives on Valentine’s Day?
Hogs and kisses!

Thirty years in, the nest is empty. My husband has retired and roles have reversed. I come home in the evening to a quiet house, shopping and dishes done, dinner simmering on the stove.

Love is the way he knows my moods. Love is the mangos and avocadoes that he can’t stand, but he buys because I love them. Love is the small treats he leaves by my spot on the couch and the texts he sends to make me laugh. Love is thirty-three years with the same man and wanting thirty more.

Valentine,
So glad you’re mine!

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