Happy Valentine’s Day!
You grumbled, didn’t you? Grimaced. You’re not falling for that garbage, right? I mean, it’s a made-up observance meant to sell chocolate and roses. You don’t need a Hallmark holiday to remind you to show your partner that your love, support and attraction are as white-hot as they were when you first met. Right?
Except you probably do.
The truth is this folks: If you’ve been married for more years than you can count on one hand, and especially if you have kids, I guarantee you are not doing the work of reminding your spouse that he (or she) still owns your heart.
Remember those early days of your relationship? When to go a day without seeing each other made your heart feel wrung out? When if you weren’t holding hands you felt incomplete, as if you were missing a piece of your own soul? When entire conversations centered on these four words: love, happy, you, me? When you could hardly get your clothes off fast enough?
Remember? Now contrast it to now. If your situation is anything like mine, you’re lucky if you remember to kiss each other goodbye (or have any desire to) in between rushing to and from work and piano lessons and pediatrician appointments. Your hands are clasped around the pudgy, doughy palms of children you still can’t trust not to dart into the street. And your daily communication is more likely to include “Bring home milk” than “Guess what I’m wearing?”
I’ve been married for 15 years and I have two kids, ages 6 and 9. When my husband walks through the door in the evening, he is ambushed. My hallway looks like a miniaturized moshpit — the kids jump on top of him, uttering a chorus of adoring phrases, while the dog barks and tries to get in on the action. Meanwhile, I stand back and wait. I’m admittedly jealous. The stories of my day will wait until after the kids are in bed, and at that point I can only hope that the two of us aren’t too exhausted to maintain a conversation (it’s happened) let alone anything that requires physical exertion.
Which is why we need Valentine’s Day. We need a reminder to stop, think, and remember what brought us to this place. To do that requires slowing down; that’s what Valentine’s Day gives us the excuse to do.