Yesterday, Valentine's Day, began with our usual card exchange. I always give cards to everyone and this year, I made up little bags for the boys (all three of them). Nothing huge, just little things that say, "I love you and you're special to me." My husband had given me a very sweet card...the kind of card that says it all. A good start to the day.
As the day wore on, I decided that since we have little ones (one being a nursing baby) and limited resources, I would make a special dinner for he and I. I have always said that I hate the idea that there has to be this huge amount of pressure for one day when I can honestly say that it is Valentine's Day most days with us. We're always doing things to let the other know how much they are loved. But in honor of the day, I went shopping, excited at the prospect of making us a special meal, even if we had to eat it with an almost one-year-old crawling around the floor and trying to pull up on everything within reach and practicing the new shrieking sounds he's recently acquired. Even if our five year-old talked our ear off the entire time. Even if it meant we couldn't have a quiet, romantic meal in peace (eating at 9 p.m. was just NOT an option). I would still light candles, pour a couple glasses of wine, and make a nice meal (on the menu: steaks, baked potatoes, steamed asparagus with bernaise sauce, salad with home-made balsalmic vinegarette, and dessert). I wanted him to know how much I appreciated him and that I wouldn't let Valentine's Day go by without making sure he knew that.
I picked out the steaks at the market (I was ecstatic, they were on sale!!!), came home, and began cooking up a storm. Normally he's home by five, so at 2, when baby went down for his nap, I started preparing. I got the boys fed by 5 so that he and I could have our own time together. Right around the time I was feeding them, the phone rang. Hubby. He has a meeting he forgot about. But, he insisted, it will be a short one. Deep breath. Okay.
Still preparing, but beginning to slow down the process (I'm a bit of a perfectionist and wanted to make sure everything was still edible by the time he came home). 5:30. Phone call. He'll be home in twenty minutes. Perfect. Still time to finish cooking, have everything perfect for his arrival. 5:50. Still not home. Wife starting to fume a bit. 6:10. Really getting angry. Food overcooked. Kids getting on my nerves. 6:20. Wife calls, hubby not answering cell phone. Wife too mad to leave a message. 6:30. He sees I called, says he's just a few minutes away. Wife answers in one word sentences. Hangs up and is still fuming. 6:35. Hubby enters. I hear whispers. The pitter patter of little five-year-old feet. The words as he enters the room, "Mommy, these are from daddy. He's REALLY sorry for being late and he loves you very much." I turn around and see a dozen goregous long-stemmed roses staring me in the face, beautifully packaged (he didn't just go and pick out a pre-made arrangement...he had the florist custom make a special bouquet just for me, one reason why he was so late).
The meal, albeit a little cold and overdone, was still a really nice way to share a moment together (five year-old did talk our ears off, baby fussed off and on...after all, it was bedtime...), but one thing's for sure. We both knew how much we were loved by the other.