At the last minute, I’d decided to grab my husband a simple Valentine’s gift. Nothing fancy… a card, some chocolate, and his favorite sunflower seeds- all from the dollar store. The reality, is that I was there to get something for our daughter. I want the holidays to be special for her. I had planned on getting her a balloon and some chocolate. My husband was not the focus that day.
As I scanned the aisles, however, I knew I wanted to get a little something for him. I want our daughter to see us exchanging small gifts and putting effort in for one another. But the reality is, we don’t need it- and we haven’t for some time.
Rewind 7 years, and we were all romance. We’d leave notes around the house for each other on normal days, give gifts and go out on date nights. We did so many little romantic gestures, that I was clueless on the day he proposed to me- Valentine’s day. He’d left 3 notes for me each day, each in a new location, and each telling me all of the reasons he loved me. On the 14th day, I couldn’t find any notes. When he told me to look again, I still didn’t suspect anything- that is, until I found a ring box on our bed, and turned around to see him on one knee with the ring.
It was so normal to do things like that, that I just hadn’t even seen it coming.
Now, seven years later, people would probably look at our life and wonder what happened. We don’t do many gifts (we’d rather save the money), and we don’t do all of the little romantic, cute things like we used to. But here’s the thing. Our life may be ordinary. It may be simple. It may be boring to some. But it is my ordinary, perfect life.
I wrote a small note to my husband in the card, and put it next to his wallet and keys so he’d find it in the morning. Late that night, I got up and wrote even more in the card. I wanted him to know how much I still love him, even though I tell him daily.
When I woke that morning, I got our daughter up and gave her the balloon and other Valentine’s day gifts we’d gotten her. My husband was already gone for the day and we didn’t see him until later. I found a long email from my husband expressing his love for me. I teared up and saved it in a special folder to always keep. I spent the day with our daughter just like every other day, wrote a bit on my blog, and even filed our taxes. It was just another day.
When my husband came home he had a flower and a card he’d printed. One for me, and one for our daughter. I was surprised, because we really don’t do much like that. We gave each other a hug and a kiss, and went about our day.
We carried on as parents do- checking things off of the list to get done. We went to the store to pick out eye glasses, and came home to make dinner. No date night- no flashy presents. Just an ordinary perfect day.
My husband apologized to me in his email that morning. He was down memory lane thinking of all we used to do. But what he doesn’t realize, is that his words now, speak so much louder than his actions from long ago. He said it best, “My love for you has grown to levels that
I never thought I could ever love someone. It is a love for you as my wife
first. You are beautiful, smart, so very funny, incredibly thoughtful, and
kind. Don’t ever stop being you.”
Every single day he walks in the door and gives me a kiss. Every single day, he helps make dinner. Every single day he takes care of me, and our daughter in his own little ways. Every single day he puts in 150% as a father and a husband. Every single day, he makes me laugh. Every single day, he puts his family first. Every single day, he tells us he loves us. Every single day, he is there.
Love evolves. Love changes and grows and adapts and lasts. The love in our lives is not shown with gifts. The love in our lives is shown as we fully accept each other for who we are. It is shown as we help each other with the tasks of parenting and having a home. It is shown in the way we understand each other, even when no words are spoken. It is shown in the time we take to help each other grow. It is shown in the lines that have started staying on our faces as we age.
It is subtle to the outside world. It is always there, however. It is a love that has been through loss. A love that has been through challenges. A love that grows stronger with each bump in the road. It is the love that we want our children to grow up seeing. Simple. Ordinary. Lasting. Special. Perfectly imperfect.