*** I am feeling daunted by the whole "Valentine Post." I don't know why - I love my husband and I can certainly think of many lovely things to say about him, but instead I'm choking. So, I'm bringing in backup, the cavalry, the man himself: Rob! And I'm sure that his post will blow mine away and you will see me for the sham that I am, but I'm all right with that.***
Since the celebrated beginning of this blog lo these many months ago, you, gentle readers, have been witness to the highs and the lows of motherhood in the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. You have heard stories and anecdotes that were amusing, informative, thought-provoking, heartwarming, and, occasionally, filled with bodily fluids. You have heard bewilderment and praise and love--most especially love--lavished upon our three children. You have even heard extensive posts about me which, if not true exaggerations, are certainly memories and images scrubbed clean of my many rough points and imperfections. What you have not heard, due to my wife's penchant for pointedly ignoring and downplaying her own considerable virtues, is a post about the mother of our children, the rock of our (usual) domestic bliss, the lodestone leading me to happiness and Heaven.
So, in the paraphrased words of Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, it's time to ramble on.
St. Valentine's Day (often reported in modern Hallmark fashion without the all-important saint) is a nice reminder for those of us (read: the author) who trundle through our daily routine of "wake-up-brush-teeth-shower-shave-put-toilet-paper-on-shaving-cut-get-dressed-replace-toilet-paper-on-shaving-cut-eat-less-than-healthy-breakfast-get-in-truck-drive-to-work-is-the shaving-cut-still-bleeding-check-email-sign-forms-attend-meetings-check-email-settle-disputes-eat-less-than-healthy-lunch-check-email-see-patients-is-the-shaving-cut-still-bleeding?-see-more-patients-check-email-get-back-in-truck-fight-traffic-play-with-kids-eat-dinner-bathe-kids-put-kids-in-bed-put-kids-on-toilet-again-put-kids-back-in-bed-clean-kitchen-get-on-treadmill-get-paged-get-back-on-treadmill-take-shower-turn-on-TV-it's-not-Thursday-no-Office!-kiss-wife-go-to bed-until-awakened-by-child-between-three-and-four-AM" to STOP. So, sitting in front of this computer with sleet outside and a real, honest-to-goodness snow day (sleet day? ice day? wintry mix day?), I intend to STOP, and tell you how it use to be.
Saint Valentine's Day (BC) = a dozen roses, a nice dinner, a movie (in a theater; without cartoon characters; without multiple "urgent" bathroom breaks characterized by scant thimblefuls of pee; above a "G" rating), adult conversation, a loving look, a gentle touch, the pleasure of handholding, the way that one body would fit into another when you snuggled on the couch.
How about AD?
Saint Valentine's Day(AD) = a dozen roses, a nice dinner for five, a movie that four will enjoy (how can you not like a movie that sends your four-year-old into fits of belly-laughing--real belly-laughing, you understand--and makes your seven-year-old into a parrot for days, imitating a red racing car with a lighting bolt on his fender?), conversations in which you really say something and influence the growing mind of another person (Is the Equator hot? Will you tell me a story your father told you? ), looks of unconditional love, touches that make up in unfettered ardor what they lack in gentleness, the pleasure of full-body hugs and sloppy kisses, the way the whole family snuggles together like one giant jigsaw puzzle.
Which, after much rambling, is what leads me back to my wife. I have written a lot to her, particularly when we were living apart during our engagement (Pennsylvania-Florida) and only saw each other three times in a year. I have professed my love in words that were, by turns, eloquent, clever, sincere, heartfelt, and always truthful. I could have spent this once-a-year writing opportunity in repeating them here, but they would be small and mean and insignificant compared to the professions of love that I see every day from my wife.
The physical manifestations of our love are our children: tangible, loud, messy, energetic emotions that we can touch, see, feel, hear and, sometimes, taste. It's as if God, in His infinite wisdom, said, "I know that you are a people that lacks in faith and requires tangible proof of My love; so when you see your children, and see the physical embodiment of your imperfect love, imagine how much more I love you."
So when I see the children, and I see how they are loved, I am awed by the depth of my wife's commitment. Hopefully, if I can emulate her more, I will grow in my love as well, but, for right now, it is (in the paraphrased words of Mark Twain) like asking for lightning and getting a lightning bug.
I will draw this post to a close--after all, there are dinners to prepare, movies to watch, and manifestations of love to dress and feed. I know that this ramble did not do true justice to the love that I bear to my wife, but if I am not an eloquent man, I hope she will know that the emotion and the sentiment is unfeigned, everlasting, and growing.
I'll take AD over BC any day.
Happy Saint Valentine's Day--I love you!