Today at work I observed my younger colleagues exhibiting excitement about Valentine’s Day in varying degrees. It got me reflecting.
Frank and I have been together for over a decade now and married for almost nine years, and in that time we have weathered a few storms. Within the framework of ‘For richer, for poorer; in sickness and health; for better, for worse’ we have had our fair share of those ‘worse’ moments. And those ‘poorer’ moments. And those ‘sickness’ moments also.
And every now and then a humdinger of a shouting match.
Yet through thick and thin, we still manage to have moments of romance; moments of ‘for richer’ – although this doesn’t always mean in monetary terms; moments of ‘for better’.
And even though we are long overdue (in our opinion) a nice romantic getaway for just two people, not four, I think we have been very lucky in finding and keeping each other.
For us, as married parents, our Valentine’s Days are not always measured in romance, jewellery, perfume, chocolates and other enticing gifts. And yet we have been Valentines to each other in other ways down the years.
We were Valentines when we took turns to look after sick children with roaring fevers and gastro bugs erupting from ‘both ends’.
When we made ourselves go to work the mornings after those long sleepless nights that come with looking after sick children.
When the garden was tidied and the deck was built; when precious weekend time was used for grocery shopping and washing, drying and folding laundry so we all had clean clothes for the week ahead.
When we each worked through the night on extra freelance jobs to keep the family finances afloat.
When we made the choice to be a one-car family because finances were tight and we had to find money for school fees.
But let’s not forget that we were Valentines during the fun stuff too. Like – as just one small example – the time I painted the children’s bodies green with food colouring and they leapt out at Frank from the top of the stairs and frightened him when he came home. That was excellent…
And the sunsets on the deck, and the family holidays we’ve been fortunate enough to share.
I don’t always get flowers as often as I’d like and I don’t always get to buy Frank the gift of his favourite men’s fragrance as often as I’d like to either.
But there are roses in my children’s cheeks as I kiss their sleepy faces at bed time, and the smell of my tall lean man in a clean laundered shirt is frequently aphrodisiac enough.
So as I am still at work typing this, I am now going to go home to my Valentine’s Day roses and scent, request that we crack open a bottle of wine, and hand over some chocolates, and gingerbread men for the boys.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
Must just send Frank a quick message telling him to put on a fresh shirt.