I had to bring my valentine supplies to work today. Have yet to construct them or profess my love on these big red hearts but I will before heading home. I’m not buying the boys any flowers or candy (their school friends did, thank goodness) but I do revel in the opportunity to put words on a heart each year on February 14th.
Yesterday I had meetings all day. The best part of my work day came at the end during a delightful interview (with ParentMap) when I was asked, “What time do you love or treasure most with your boys?” My response was totally off the cuff. But I’ll say, even just getting an opportunity to respond to the question was a huge delight. I’ve been reading and reflecting on how we share our journey of parenthood because of a Slate article I read earlier this week entitled, “My Life Is A Waking Nightmare.” The author protests the amount of negativity we share about parenthood.
As I reflected on the interview last night I realized it was the foundation for my three valentines. Everything in my heart is different after having children, of course. My romantic love for my husband remains and is nurtured with time but these little boys take up huge real estate now. For the rest of time I’ll always send at least 3 valentines. Just the way it is now after having my boys.
If you’re curious, here’s what I said (I’m paraphrasing). Don’t worry I’ll condense this for the cards!
I’m madly in love with my two boys. Having them is not only a luxury of life but a delicious privilege. No question that parenting is tough in moments but my time with my boys and husband, when we’re all together, is the highlight of every day. I’m less anxious when they’re in eyeshot, I’m delighted to be present as they change and grow, and I love the dynamic that comes with the four of us together. It’s easier of course but also more fun to watch and observe them and share the moments with my husband. Time with them alone is distinctly wonderful but family time is precious. It’s clear it always will be so we do our best to prioritize mealtime. Meal time — breakfast or dinner — is always a high note in the day and despite our long work hours we do our best to get home to eat together even if it means there is 3 more hours of work after bedtime. At the table we share our days, our BPOD (best part of day), talk about tomorrow and revel in the journey. Sometimes it’s dodgy and one of them refuses the kale. But we’re together and I’m always so much happier when at the table with my boys.
The other “best” time is when I get to observe my children being themselves without them knowing it. When I stand in the doorway without them taking notice, watching and taking in the sounds of their lego building and uncensored singing. When I can spot them on the soccer field before they know I’m there and just take in their determination and play.
See this journey of getting to be present while a child grows is simply astonishing. Nothing better in this lifetime. Those that focus only on the rigor, the struggle, the labor, and the heartache may miss many moments to revel in this exceptional show. The front row seat we’re offered-up as parents really is the best seat in the house to the greatest show on earth.
Hope your Valentine’s Day is peaceful and that there is also a chance for you to profess your love.