In a bleary-eyed moment of my not-so-blogged about days of parenting, I sat a puddle of a person, waist deep in diapers and about three years short on sleep. I was nails broken, a hair-clogged drain, thyroid on sabbatical forms of crazy-head living. The clothed version of myself felt just about as vulnerable and exposed as the naked one. Uncomfortably squished in the darkness between the familiarity of "before" and the shifting balance of "now", I became sorely lost. One cannot muster the kind of light to see the forest through those trees.
So, you didn't make me try to.
Instead, we just sat there. Sometimes we talked but mostly, I cried. Through it all, you sat there beside me and didn't make me move until I felt ready. We sat there for such a long time.
Days no longer carried the expectation of greatness.Too much pressure for too little zest. We grew it small. Every night, in the quiet security of almost slumber, we each shared just one thing to take from that day. A favorite part of the day. What started as an apathetic task gradually made way for change. Through time, the soft light gracefully trickled in right where it was most needed.
For all the large ways you show your love, it was in tiny quiet talks I felt it the mightiest.
Just shy of 7 years of marriage and 15 years of life together, I now know that contentment waxes and wans. Some years, it just ain't there like the others. Sort of like El Nino and rain. While the date nights, love lunches and beautiful Valentine flowers are so special to me, it is in our "daily favorite" discussions that I always feel my smile the most.
Today was no exception.
This year, my Valentine "date" was not documented in pictures. Ironically, you weren't even there. Our love lunch came in the form of pint-sized tables, crepe paper decorations and bunches of grabby hands. But that wasn't even it, really. Rather, it came in just one moment. Rounding the corner of the doorway to that creeping-across-the-face shy smile of our oldest, now sitting a little taller on the circle mat because her Mommy was one of the few to be there to help at her holiday party. No brother. No baby sister. Daddy took his lunch to sit at home with a sleeping sister and brother was away at school. It was just her and me.
And I wasn't the bleary-eyed, uncomfortably squished, lost Mom from her tiny days. All because you loved me in that darkness the way I most needed you to.
You gifted me my favorite part of the day and so much more.
What a Valentine.