So, it's Valentines Day. I'm aware of this mostly because at 11 PM last night I was frantically putting together 26 gifts for my 3-year-old and a dozen more for my baby to give their friends at school. There’s no minute quite like the last minute, I suppose.
We also got a couple of small things for the girls, and as we sat down at the kitchen counter for breakfast my oldest asked, "What did you get for Valentines, mama?" I immediately felt unsure of how to answer, because my husband and I had decided not to spend the money on gifts this year when we didn't really need to.
"Well...I got some flowers from Papa, baby..." (hands-down my favorite Valentines tradition.)
"What else, mama? What else did you get?"
"Well...I got you and sissy and daddy, so that's pretty awesome..."
"But WHAT ELSE, mama?!"
I couldn't help second guessing our decision to "skip" Valentines Day. The doubt crept in...
Should we have exchanged gifts so the girls would see that we got each other something?
Do they think because we didn’t give each other something that we don't love each other?
I mean, what kind of couple doesn't “do” Valentines Day?!
Maybe we should both pick something up today to exchange tonight?
I stopped myself mid-thought…
Because what an incredible opportunity to teach my daughter that we don't have to BUY each other things to prove our love; to show her that love can be expressed in ordinary, every day actions just as much as expensive, extravagant gifts. Maybe even more so?
So I started thinking...what did my husband get me for Valentines this year? Or, put another way...how did he show me love today?
He got the coffee pot set-up late last night so this morning when I woke up before the sun it would be ready and waiting...because he knows my day doesn't really start until after the first cup.
He fixed a bowl of oatmeal for me to shovel in my mouth on my way out the door...because he knows if he didn't I would have skipped breakfast all together. And probably lunch, too. Because who has the time?
He got our toddler out of bed, got her dressed and fought her through every bite of her breakfast...because he knows my mornings with the baby involve a lot and if we divide and conquer we all get out the door with a little more sanity.
He made time for the girls’ school Valentines party in the middle of the afternoon, even though he had a million other things to do...because he knows if he didn't our oldest would have been heartbroken. And he loves me well by loving our girls well.
At bedtime, he responded to our daughter's cries from bed that she was a little hungry...then a little thirsty...then that her foot itched...because he knows that by the time we lay her down there's not a whole lot of “me” left.
He didn't say a word when I sat down after dinner...without cleaning up...to have a little time to myself. To eat a piece of cheesecake, drink my iced latte and write...because he knows that sometimes that's exactly what I need most.
He loved me this Valentines Day by showing up.
He loves me every day by showing up.
So baby girl, when you ask "what else" ...that list could go on forever.