Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day, or, Why I Love My Husband

Valentine’s Day is traditionally a day when people tell their spouses, “I love you.” Husbands, particularly, are encouraged to give their wives flowers, chocolates, or jewelry. Hallmark insists that a card is crucial. Restaurants swear that a romantic candlelit dinner is required. All these things are very nice, and they can be lovely ways to show someone that you love them. But there are other ways, too.

My husband is a wonderful and generous gift-giver. He has given me flowers, chocolates, jewelry, cards, and elegant dinners on many occasions – and often for no occasion at all. But he gives me so much more, every day, to show me how much he loves me.

The smell of a bouquet of a dozen roses is nice, but the clean sweet smell of a baby that my husband just bathed so I could have a few minutes to myself is nicer.

Chocolate is delicious, but it’s even more delicious when it’s a bag of M&Ms that my husband bought so we could use them as rewards for potty-training my son together.

Jewelry is a generous gift, but the true gift is shown when I put it on and my husband looks at my face instead of my necklace and tells me how beautiful I look.

Cards are lovely keepsakes, but a piece of construction paper covered in crayon scribbles that my husband helped my son to make for me is even better.

Elegant dinners are a special way to spend time together, but it really touches my heart and makes me feel special when my husband cooks dinner and then sets up candles AND both kids’ highchairs at the dining room table for a romantic family dinner.

Over the years we’ve been together, my husband has given me many thoughtful gifts, from the practical to the frivolous. He’s given me a GPS and a Kindle. He’s treated me to massages and facials. He’s bought me clothes and shoes and a gorgeous leather jacket and a fabulous set of pearls. He’s taken me to restaurants and shows and museums and galleries. But the best gifts are the ones that aren’t quite so tangible. The gifts that mean the most to me are usually not given for a particular occasion. They’re things like getting my car inspected, and getting up with the kids so I can sleep in, and making breakfast on Sunday morning, and doing three loads of laundry, and rubbing my feet when my arthritis flares up. They’re squishing centipedes in the bathroom for me. They’re bragging to everyone he’s ever met that I’m performing in a show. They’re telling me that I’m a great mom, and I’m smart, and I’m a good writer, and I’m a talented actress, and I’m funny, and I’m beautiful. Those are the gifts that make me feel the most loved.

Happy Valentine’s Day to my wonderful sweetheart, my best friend, and my dearest love. Thank you for making every day Valentine’s Day.

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