After Years Of Marriage And Multiple Kids, Valentine’s Day Looks Different

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“I remember when Valentine’s Day was cute.

He’d be late getting home from work (because he was stood up in that infamous stationary aisle parade, picking a card from what was left at the 11th hour). He would give me a piece of jewelry, and a stuffed teddy bear (that, back then, a little sister would quickly confiscate, cuddle, and call their own).

We would spend hours getting dressed up, at our respective parents’ home (while acting, upon meeting, as though we just ‘threw something on’), and head out for a meal at a nice restaurant; always seafood dish for me, chicken parmigiana for him, from an already pre-set menu. I always thought he was the most perfect Valentine.

It was cute.

Today, he’ll work nine hours; tonight I will work twelve. He’ll come home this evening, absolutely exhausted, to three children telling him all about their day, and me finishing dinner. The homework will already be completed; the school lunch bags emptied for another week. We’ll sit with our three and quickly eat a Valentine’s Day meal, that we’ll manage to squat somewhere between basketball practice and a nightshift.

He’ll then tidy away the dishes, while I spend some cuddle time on the couch. I’ll go on to work, and he’ll finish off the evening – Tucking in two littlest hearts, and ending the day hanging out with our (rapidly growing) teenager, randomly chatting about things that don’t matter, yet matter so much. At bedtime, he’ll even follow that teenager up the stairs (he obviously does it now more for him, then the kid, but I don’t point that out).

Then he’ll come back down, wait for a ‘good night, I love you’ call from me, and that’ll wrap it up. Another day done.

There will always be a card.
Perhaps even a flower (or a few).

But it’s no longer cute.

The day will be absent of cuddly teddy bears, brand new shiny jewelry, and wondering if I wore the right shirt.

Instead, it’s life. It’s a series of lived moments, crazy moments, chaotic moments, filled in between with ‘who left the milk out on the kitchen counter?’ moments. It’s living out of a laundry basket for days. It’s figuring out who’s going to the birthday party, while the other taxis for practice. It’s not eating supper until 7 p.m. because you’re both relishing in a kitchen conversation about your day, while the kids are occupied with a mean game of Super Mario.

Life is not meant to be cute. It’s meant to be loud, meant to be messy, and meant to be rambunctious. Lived day in, and day out, with the one who loves us more than anything else in this whole, wide, beautiful world. It’s looking at him, and smiling to myself, because I’m lucky enough to call him mine. It’s seeing him with our children, and my heart glowing in the comfort that he will have their back, always. It’s knowing there is nowhere else I’d rather be, and no one else I’d rather be doing this with.

…And I’d take that over cute any day.”

Courtesy of Heather Delaney

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Heather Delaney of Love Always, Heather. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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