Valentine's Day makes me nervous. I have a tendency to expect too much out of silly holidays like this one. I need to remind myself that Sylvain cannot read my mind (although, I don't know how much clearer I could be - I practically run my hands through the beautiful flowers at Kroger EVERY STINKING SUNDAY when we go on our shopping trips). Sigh. I need to remind myself that the only thing he hates more than getting surprises is orchestrating them. I have to remind myself that the love we have flying around this place is enough to last for today, the rest of the year, and then some. Seriously. We could fill a good 10 to 12 houses with all our love. It's GIGANTIC!!
I knew all of this going into V-Day and I forced myself to semi-ignore the day altogether. But that's impossible when you're a teacher with a baby!
I used to the think Valentine's Day was a made up holiday to sell Hallmark cards, but now I know better. It's a made up holiday to eat candy at school! My kids were SUPER excited about exchanging Valentines, and I love any excuse to make cupcakes, so we had a teeny, tiny, no-instruction-time-lost Valentine's Day Exchange. It wasn't a party. Don't tell my principal it was party. We were learning. I promise!
I also made cupcakes for Sylvia's teachers at day care, because (as I've mentioned before) I'm not above bribing the crap out of some college-aged girls if it means they'll give my baby an extra squeeze or hold her for an extra second each day. I also sent in treats for the Valentine's Day Party in the crawler room. I'm not even kidding. Babies were having a party which involved treats. I sent bananas. Lame? Or totally practical? You be the judge.
So, after preparing for the school version of Valentine's Day, all of the energy I had left in my own Lover's Tank was used to get my hubby some of those awesome Peanut Butter Snickers that he adores. I bought him three candy bars and a card. Oh, and a pack of gum. Romantic, huh? Are you jealous? He got me some chocolates and a card, which was really nice, and honestly, more than I expected. Then, when Sylvia woke up from her early evening nap, we decided to go out to dinner. On a MONDAY! Who do we think we are? People trying to salvage Valentine's Day, that's who!
Sylvia was very well-behaved at dinner and we had a lovely time. We went to a very familiar restaurant and the food was okay. I had just about given up on Valentine's Day altogether because I was so tired before we even started eating. When I walked away to go to the bathroom, I was already thinking about the work waiting for me at home and at school tomorrow morning. I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror and thought, "When did you get so old and boring?" Then I walked back to the table....
and my heart melted. Finally the Valentine's Day warm gushy goodness I had been waiting for.
Sylvia's high chair was sitting next to Sylvain. I guess she started getting restless because he had pulled a bunch of toys out of her diaper bag and they were strewn all over the table. But the two of them were leaning toward each other, head-to-head, looking at her favorite book: The Going to Bed Book. Sylvain was reading to her and she was squealing and bouncing and turning the pages every time he finished a sentence. His face was bright, cheery, and proud. Her cheeks were chubby, smiling, and adorable. There they were - sharing a sweet moment together in the middle of a crowded restaurant.
I sat down across from them and took a sip of my drink. I sat back in my chair, watching them, and thought to myself:
How could I ever want more for Valentine's Day (or a birthday, or Christmas, or any other special gift-giving day EVER) than this? This picture in my mind - of a Daddy that gave himself to me, loving a girl that he gave to me - well, that's worth more than any amount of flowers in the world, don't you think? It's about these sweet, sweet, people. It's about my sweet little family. It's about the teeny, tiny, almost unnoticed moments that prove we all love each other, no matter what. He's a thoughtful Daddy. He's a wonderful Husband. She's the smartest, cutest, most amazing little creature on the planet. They are my Valentines and I love them more than I could ever hope to explain.