A Valentine for the Man That Made Me a Mom

1

Don’t bother with roses.
They cost too much on a regular day.
A day that’s not grossly commercialized.
And they were never my favorite.

If you want to get me chocolate, it doesn’t need to be in a heart-shaped box.
I’ll take a Butterfinger with permission to eat it in its entirety by myself.
No need to take me out for a candlelit dinner.
Let’s sit on the couch instead
and twirl spaghetti on our forks
while we watch old episodes of Saturday Night Live
and try not to laugh too loud
We CAN’T wake up the kids.

Thank you for not buying me backless underpants.
They’re uncomfortable. And confusing.

I liked it last year.
When we made heart-shaped pancakes for our boys.
And left notes on our favorite things.
I still love you more than coffee.
And I really love coffee.

I get why people have given up on Valentine’s Day. I really do. Unrealistic expectations and all of that.
But we can’t give up on love.
We have to show our kids what it’s like.
What it’s like to cut hearts out of felt for their grandparents and give cards to their friends reminding them how cool they are.
What it’s like to love someone just as much when they’re grumpy or runny-nosed or smelly.
What it’s like to live love out loud.
To help and rescue and serve. To be there when it’s not easy. To laugh and cry and mourn and eat ice cream together.

Love is not just romance.
Its sacred and honest,
wise and innocent.
It’s comfortable
like sweatpants in a world of pantyhose

On the morning of our wedding day, I gripped my coffee mug with both hands
as if dropping it would shatter the whole world.
The idea of forever seemed soooo long.
I knew I would never date again
Or have another first kiss
Or be able to buy a ridiculous amount of shoes without explaining it to anybody

But I didn’t think about the houses we would fashion into homes
Or the friendships we would forge together
I didn’t consider the day we’d find out we were expecting
Or the first time I would kiss our children
And now forever isn’t near long enough.

You don’t have to buy me anything today
Just do life with me tomorrow.
Promise me that we’ll teach our kids how to climb trees and smile at strangers.
that our normal won’t ever have to be normal”.
that how I look in the morning—all crusty-eyed and disheveled is ok
that when everything is said and done, you’ll reach your hand across the kiddos and pillows and toy trucks that somehow made it into our bed just to give my hand a squeeze

Because love…real love…is messy sometimes:
burnt cookies and miscommunications and overdrawn checking accounts and that time I wrecked your truck
These moments string together and make up this whimsical little lifetime.

So on Valentine’s Day, don’t buy me roses.
Tell me that motherhood is the best outfit you’ve ever seen me wear and that our adventure far surpasses your rock star youth.
Tell me you’re happiest when you’re home and that you’ll see me in the morning.
Because in this run-around phase of life that we’re in, the promise of your presence in the morning is the best gift that there is.

****

I know it seems sappy, if not a bit indulgent, to use this forum as an opportunity to write my husband a love letter, but I wanted to remind other moms how important it is to remember the men in our lives that gave us the gift of children. Motherhood can be exhausting, demanding, and downright overwhelming. But with just a little bit of perspective, we’re face to face with the tremendous reality of our blessings. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be expensive or even impressive. It’s just a prompt for us to tell the people we love just how much and why.

How are you celebrating this year?

Previous articleIs Fair, Fair?
Next articleSo Your Friend’s Adopting, Part 2 (Showers, Soirees, and Such)
Jody hid in the hills of Missouri until her husband, Caleb, rescued her and made her a Mrs . . . at least that’s the story he tells. A mere four years in and they’ve added a brilliant, big-hearted boy, Jude(2010) and an equally endearing, Oliver(2013) to their family. Still pretty amazed at the fact that she grew too tiny humans when she can’t even keep a rubber tree plant alive, Jody recently stopped traveling with a ministry conference team to stay at home and rough and tumble around with her boys. She loves Jesus, coffee, and big sunglasses, and keeps her inner gypsy alive by traveling whenever she gets the chance.

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here