Saturday, February 14, 2015

10 Ways To Celebrate Valentine's Day Without Presents

My husband never remembers Valentine's Day.

It's a mind block. It bothers me. It shouldn't, and I shake it off, but it does.

My mom always gave us kids special Valentines and lovin' (she's a gifts person) and we grew up helping Dad pick out a card, oo-and-ahh over them getting dressed up to go out, and admiring the present/ flowers my dad gave her.
A girl can dream, right?

I never minded being single on Valentine's Day because I knew, if I got married, my spouse would surprise me each year! Well, reality checks happen in life. The last time Will voluntarily remembered Valentine's Day was 2011, when we first started dating. Well, not even dating. We had two dates, and he was replying to a message. (I was thrilled he replied on Valentine's Day!)

The next year, we didn't celebrate Valentine's Day as an engaged couple. I don't remember why. Then, we got married. I got pregnant. That elusive date rolled around and... he didn't notice, even though I left him a note and cookies before I drove back to Cincinnati for work*.

Nothing. No message or acknowledgement. I felt super-duper sad. I called him back after our nightly chat and prayers. I remained calm and heartbroken. He was apologetic and confused.

We had never celebrated it before. I'm always finding a reason to make something into a special occasion. He's not into holidays. I know this.

I'm always looking for a reason to make something into a special occasion. ("You're home earlier than expected! Yay!!!")

This year, he's working on Valentine's Day, which is a relief. My expectations automatically dropped upon reading his schedule. Instead, I'll be hanging with my best girl, Grace Harriet, and my MIL, watching Jane Austen (or something British/ romantic) and not going into labor (yet). Will and I do have plans to go out the next night and I'm really excited for that.
My Valentine (2014)

This is part of really accepting the other person as they are, for better and for worse. Will is an incredibly thoughtful and loving husband. He's thoughtful and loving on holidays too, just not in a holiday-specific, gift-giving way.

Here are ten "gifts" Will gives to me each day, sans presents:

10. He's patient. We don't fight. This isn't to say I don't get mad at him or he doesn't get irritated with me - but he stays calm, and I stay calm-ish. We talk it out. He listens to my side, I listen to his side, and we give each other space (especially if the irritation feels palpable). We have a No Yelling rule in our family, and it's held strong.

9. In this same vein, he's honest and direct with me. He does not avoid topics. It made me very uncomfortable at first, and now, it gives me strength to be as direct and honest with him.

8. He puts me first. He puts me before our families, our work, our children, our to-do list, his fun activities. Now, this should have an asterisk by it, perhaps - he does not skip work for me, or neglect Grace - but I know I am his Most Important Person, period.

7. He encourages me! While we were dating, I decided to stop working for the family business full-time and becomes a nanny. He told me how proud he was of me to make the new leap. When I got my teaching job, he would brag about me. When he gets home from work, he thanks me for taking such good care of Grace (and sometimes, how great the house looks!) and always asks about my day and/or what I've been writing lately (since I don't always hit 'publish').

6. He respects me. My feelings, my thoughts, my body, my needs, my concerns - there's nothing he doesn't ask about or takes into consideration. When I get crabby, he makes sure I eat a snack or take a nap. He doesn't take my time for granted, and says it's okay if I don't get all the chores done because he'll help me when he gets home.

5. He motivates me. Will loves being active, playing games, reading interesting articles; moreover, he loves sharing things he loves with me, and even teaching me. He went rock climbing recently, and is excited to introduce it to me once I am more in shape/ less pregnant.

4. He's hilarious. I should really start writing down all the pithy things Will says. He brightens my day with his wit, especially when I'm over Grace's temper tantrum or frustrated or just really, really tired.

3. All the small things. His gestures are small and spontaneous. He prays with me. His kindness, his smile, the way he loves Grace.

2. He loves me - and says so. I am a words of affirmation person and just hearing how much he appreciates me or misses me or is thinking about me - it means a lot, and often carries he through the days he's hardly home.

1. He makes me want to be the best version of myself. Even when I'm grumpy.

Happy Valentine's Day to all!

*We lived apart our first six months because of my job and his school, in case you're new here.

No comments:

Post a Comment