It’s no secret that Valentine’s Day is my least favorite holiday. It always has been. When I was younger and before I was romantically involved, I used to think this was because I didn’t have that special someone who would buy me flowers and chocolates and treat me like a princess all day. But even after Rusty and I started dating, got engaged, and got married, I just couldn’t shake my distaste for Valentine’s Day.
Now that I have kids, I try to not be very vocal about my opinions of Valentine’s Day. After all, for them, it’s fun! There are cards to make and cookies to decorate (and eat) and parties to go to — and candy, lots of candy! And of course, it can be argued that Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love in all its forms — not just romantic love, but the love between parents and children, friendship, and God’s love for us. Still, there is no denying that the holiday in many ways revolves around romantic love. And there is such pressure to show that love in the conventional and contrived ways… with cards, with flowers, with chocolate, with sentimental gifts, with expensive dinners, and so on. In other words, with money.
In many ways, it just seems so fake.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I like flowers as much as the next girl. I like to get dressed up and go out to a nice dinner with my husband. And I like getting thoughtful card. (I’m not big on sentimental and impractical gifts, but I get that some women are.) But I don’t buy into the idea that there is just one day a year for these expressions of love. And I certainly don’t buy into the idea that these are the only ways to express romantic love.
This Valentine’s Day was pretty much just an ordinary day for us. We were taking care of my sister’s kids, so we didn’t get to go out to dinner. And we didn’t even get each other cards. Rusty did bring me a rose, but that was all. And you know what? It was totally fine! He brings me flowers on other days. He writes me sweet love notes. We go out on dates on a regular basis thanks to a trade-off childcare arrangement with Josh and Julie.
But beyond that, Rusty shows me he loves me every day by helping out around the house and with the children, by encouraging me, by telling me I’m beautiful, by showing his appreciation for the things I do for our family, by being affectionate, by making me laugh, by listening to me. This is real love. And I am blessed to rest in it every single day, not just once a year.
If Valentine’s Day one year ends up being just another ordinary day for us, so be it. I know I’m loved — I don’t need a fancy bouquet or a teddy bear to reassure me of that fact!