Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

In years past I have taken the opportunity to write some fairly sarcastic posts on Valentine's Day. It doesn't take a PhD in psychology to know that such musings are a way to avoid facing the fact that I really didn't have any reason to get excited about Valentine's Day. I am happy to say that things have changed and that there will be no sarcasm in today's post. After today, however, anything goes.

After many years in denial, I have confronted my true self. I am admitting here that I am a hopeless romantic. So how does a newly proclaimed hopeless romantic celebrate Valentine's Day? Well . . .in many ways, like any other day. These days, every day feels like Valentine's Day. I know without a doubt that I am loved. My days are filled with those seeminly small but very meaningful gestures such as
  • helping me make the bed first thing every morning
  • making the morning's coffee
  • putting the breakfast dishes in the dishwasher
  • a "Good Morning, I love You!" email or text message every morning
  • a "How's It Going?" phone call at lunch
  • an after school hug that says "I missed you today."
  • gentle reminders about those menial tasks that I tend to put on tomorrow's to-do list but that really need to be done today
  • genuine appreciation for whatever dinner happens to be whether it is a can of soup or something that involves real cooking
  • loading and unloading the dishwasher
  • sitting with me while I grade papers or work on the week's lesson plans
  • talking
  • listening

These are the things that really say, "I love you." Sure, a gift on a special day like Valentine's Day can be nice. But given the choice between candy, flowers, even a fancy piece of jewelry and those daily text messages, I will take the latter any day.

So what did we do today? We happened to be in Austin this weekend for reasons totally unrelated to Valentine's Day. Our gift to ourselves was not setting an alarm clock thsi morning, something that rarely happens these days. We enjoed a lovely brunch together and then headed back to Dallas where when we got home we did a couple loads of laundry, went grocery shopping, and prepared for the school week. That's romantic, huh. You bet! Because we did it all together. Oh, and we shed a few tears as we listened to Mary Chapin Carpenter's song. "Grow Old Along With Me." There's the hopeless romantic shining forth in all its glory.

As we move past February 14th, my hope for all is that each new day will bring with it the love and joy that, for many, are too often reserved only for Valentine's Day.