February 17, 2012

Valentine's day.

Call me a hopeless romantic--I love this holiday every year. Not as much as Easter, my favorite of faves, but love it all the same. This year is the second year, after four years of being away from my sweetheart due to deployments, that my husband is home. It is extra special because it has been a rarity in the past to be together in February and many months surrounding it. It is a treasured blip on the calendar.

Jason brought home a huge bouquet of roses the day before Valentine's day. Flowers are something I treasure. Don't the majority of women? Even the self-proclaimed Valentine haters? It isn't the only time during the year that he stops by the florist "just because"...so they aren't unique to a holiday.

This year was a bit different though. I could see it in my daughter's eyes as she gently sniffed the flowers. I could see the sense of longing and hope...and disappointment. This marked a first for her. The first time Daddy "forgot".

Since her very first Valentine's day she received something special from her father on February 14th. In fact, she still has her very first gift... a purple stuffed poodle. Super soft. She was almost one and squealed in delight when he handed it to her. That poodle spent the next four years in her bed as she slept. Okay, mostly in OUR bed since she'd sneak in with us long after we fell asleep each night.

I love the tradition of it. As does she. It's simple really..a symbol of something pretty special coming from the man who loved her first. The one who will one day pass the torch to another man when he gives her away at her wedding. The one who will most likely always send something on Valentine's day to his "little girl".

She did not say a word about it but she didn't have to.

Little did she know her father had already made plans for his princess. It wasn't Valentine's day after all. It was the day before. He carefully picked her princess bouquet. He had to make a special request of the local florist because a red rose isn't appropriate as a "Daddy gift". Changes had to be made to make sure her gift was perfect.

She didn't have to say it but her heart sang to receive her gift on Valentine's day.

I am reminiscent of the things my own father did growing up. (My first Valentine).. Unicorn figurines. Those were my 'bouquets of flowers'. I collected them and from time to time we'd see them at the grocery store, the gas station, small shops and he would add another to the growing group on my dresser. I still have my collection--some in pretty horrendous shape from military move to move. But I have them. I can still remember how it felt when each piece was picked. They were my 'something special'.

It was never about the day. It still isn't. It was always the emotion behind them. Always the feeling of being special because something was carefully chosen for me. It's the same for my daughter. She will most likely always remember the things carefully chosen for her. She may even keep the purple poodle from that first holiday. She'll remember Daddy reading to her at night even when he was exhausted from the day. (My heart leaps every time he does it.) She'll remember cooking with him. She'll remember he would let her sit in the front seat of the truck when Mom did not.

I hope she remembers most the love and that she chooses someone like her father when it's time.

You see, my husband, my Valentine:
  • Has always worked hard to provide for us. Even if it meant working two jobs.
  • He has been the shoulder to cry on when the very worst situations have occurred in our marriage. I cannot count the number of nights I have fallen asleep sobbing in his arms.
  • He has been supportive of my school and my vocation and most of the impulsive ideas I have had throughout the years.
  • He has loved me through my insecurities, depression, and when I've felt the most unlovable. 
  • He has given so much wisdom to me and our children.
  • His heart is invested in the goings-on in this house and acutely aware of problems and blessings.

I praise God, my Almighty Father, for the special gift He gave when he chose my husband for me.

Said after our 2nd Valentine's day when we took our vows:

"But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.'  'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,  and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one.  Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." Mark 10:6-9

We're all covered in love two-fold... every day of the year.

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