I don’t want sunbursts or marble halls. I just want you. L.M. Montgomery - 'Anne of Green Gables'
Valentine’s Day has never been about the material gifts
With Valentine’s Day comes public declarations of love and adoration. More often than not, they are to prove to others that you are in love or are loved. Flowers are selected and delivered. Trinkets of varying degrees of value are bestowed upon excited recipients. Sometimes proposals are extended with the promise that each future February will be spent together celebrating a mutual love.
While all of those things are lovely and no doubt appreciated, they are simply only symbolic in nature. Giving and receiving of materialistic items can never replace the actual feelings of love. On Valentine’s Day it isn’t about what someone can give me or what I can give another person because in my eyes nothing can ever replace the feeling of being loved. Nothing can adequately ever compare to that feeling of joy in your heart that comes from shared experiences with another human.
I am blessed that each day I share my life with an amazing partner who has chosen to share his life with me. All the sunny days and the stormy ones too. I’m lucky in that I have someone who is receptive of my love and who extends that same level of companionship with me and all that it entails. I have someone who loves me unconditionally – which is priceless.
When I think about the most amazing gifts of love I have ever received from my husband, my answer is an immediate one…
The best part of these gifts is that they continue to provide me with that invaluable currency of love every single day.
From the moment I heard the little horse-like gallops of their heart beats keeping time with my own, I was smitten. Their first kicks and punches within my body, the experience of giving birth to them, of seeing their little faces for the first time, of all of their “firsts”…all of it is filed away in my heart. Little snapshots of stolen moments in time. Moments of shared connectedness.
My love wasn’t divided, it was multiplied
One of my favorite memories that I often revisit is that of an evening in the autumn of 2010 when I was only a month or so away from delivering our second son. I was snuggled up in the rocking chair with our freshly bathed first son, his head on my shoulder while I rubbed his back and sang him “Silent Night” which has always been our chosen lullaby. As I sat there in the darkness with his warm little body so close to mine, his breath slowing as his little body calmed itself for a night of sleep I first smiled then wept. As I embraced my first born, his brother was also sharing in the moment from within my body – albeit lying 180 degrees in opposition from his brother but indicating his presence with little movements that made my stomach change shape. There I sat rocking one son from within, with the other in my arms.
Last week I was rocking the youngest (now 15 months old) before bed, in that same rocking chair, in the same position as his brother had been that night. In the darkness I softly sang him “Silent Night”, rubbing his back with my eyes closed, taking a snapshot for my mental file. The darkness was interrupted by a beam of light from the hall. A little figure cast a shadow across us as it entered the room and quickly scurried over to where we were sitting in the chair – my older son. He whispered quietly “rock-a-rock, Mom?” I motioned for him to join us and he crawled up onto my lap and rested his head on my other shoulder, snuggling in close so I could also rub his back.
I continued my rendition of “Silent Night”, admittedly through tears as I realized how eternally grateful I will always be for the love these two boys have given me and will continue to give to me. For the happiness they bring to my life every single day – and most importantly, for the person they have transformed me into and the new found journey they have allowed me to take with their father as we enjoy the adventures of parenthood.
They say a family is a little world created by love. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.