We have spent the week leading up to today’s ever-romantic holiday with much coughing, buckets of snot, headaches, overwork, blood tests, Valentine’s parties, fevers, insanely busy days, and of course, the much-dreaded return of snow to central Iowa. There hasn’t been much time around here for romance, or long conversations, or deep staring into eyes, or even quick stolen kisses.
Ten years ago, Art and I were celebrating our first Valentine’s Day as a couple. I spent hours unwrapping Hershey’s Hugs and re-wrapping them with little tags that said things that I loved about him. Poor guy didn’t even like Hershey’s Hugs, but bless him he ate every single one. And saved all the cheesy little tags.
This Valentine’s Day, I am considering throwing some laundry in the washer so my wonderful husband has clean underwear for church tomorrow. And maybe I’ll go extra crazy and actually cook dinner, as opposed to making sandwiches again.
This is life, how it is for real. We try to keep the romance alive in our marriage, and to do special things as a couple, but the truth is that sometimes all that gets lost in the midst of three jobs, two and a half kids, a dog, a master’s program, laundry, cooking, cleaning, bills, and exhaustion. As much as the sunshine and roses and eternal schmoozy romance of dating was, we chose to take it beyond that. We chose marriage, and family, and chaos.
Chaos that, while overwhelming, makes the stolen moments of romance that much sweeter. Chaos that, when stilled even for just a second, reminds us of the deep love that we share– love that goes beyond those mushy hand-holding eye-gazing days. (Although I still enjoy a good mushy hand-holding, eye-gazing session, don’t get me wrong.)
Because, after all these years, I still do love the way his eyes crinkle up when he laughs.
I just don’t have the time to write it on the tag of a piece of candy.