There is so much pressure associated with Valentine's Day. Commercials begin telling us what to buy our sweethearts. Girlfriends expect something truly exceptional and romantic. And our society, as a whole, feels disappointed if the day isn't overflowing with love.
But I don't want to buy into all that. To me, Valentine's Day is just another opportunity to show our love to those who are important to us, but there are many ways to show love and most definitely should not be limited to just one day a year. Love isn't just demonstrated by chocolate, flowers, or even diamonds.
Don't get me wrong. I love participating in V-Day rituals. I have decorative Valentine's Day hand towels hanging on the stove. I made red eggs and heart-shaped toast for breakfast. And I even dyed our lunch, clam chowder, pink just for fun. But the real acts of love are in the everyday monotonies of life-those little moments where we find opportunities to say I Love You.
My husband is great at that. He shows me he cares more times than I could ever keep track of. Not a day goes by that he doesn't find some way to affirm his love, whether through words or actions. That cliche, "everyday is Valentine's Day with me, baby" is really, definitely true with Ryan, which is why I don't mind when he says it, as cheesy as the saying is.
My list of "Why I Love Ryan" is far too extensive and intimate to comprehensively cover in a blog post. I've said this since the beginning, but he is the coolest guy I know in every single sense. He is my best friend and there is absolutely no one else I'd even want to think about navigating this crazy life with.
I didn't realize that when I married him my love could get any stronger but it does. I can only imagine how much love I'll feel in 20 years.
And then there's Nate, the other love in my life. He's such a silly, strong-willed, smart little guy and I am honored to be his mom. There is no other job I would rather have.
Everything about him is perfect to me from his big, round eyes, to his eyelashes, to his lips (which he gets from me), to his little toes. Honestly, I can't imagine a more perfect boy (I'm sure this is a sentiment I share with all other mothers).
I can't help but be completely in love with this little guy.
Instead of focusing on myself on Valentine's Day and what I should get or how I should be shown love, which is how we have been trained to think on Valentine's Day, I'd rather focus on the incredible gift I have been given. The gift to be able to love a family, my family, with a love I am still learning to comprehend.
Little children, let us not love merely in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth (in practice and in sincerity). 1 John 3: 18
Happy Valentine's Day!