It’s the way he washes the dishes each night after dinner.
The way he calls or texts me to let me know that he’s thinking about me (really he’s just bored or has a question, but I like to pretend he wants to hear my voice).
The way he gives our boys his undivided attention so that I can finally have a peaceful moment to myself – usually to shower, let’s be real.
The way he works his booty off doing what he loves to provide for those he loves more.
The way he forces me to snuggle every. single. night. before we go to sleep, despite my insistent protests.
The way he helps our two-year-old use his potty chair and changes poopy diapers like a champ.
The way he pushes me to be myself, but better.
The way he always reaches for my hand, and the way I can’t help but smile like we’re fifteen again when he does.
The way he walks around holding our five-month-old for over an hour when he gets home from work, doing whatever it takes to keep the tears at bay.
The way he becomes giddy when a crazy car drives by, rolling down his window and unabashedly pointing it out to our two-year-old.
The way his voice sounds.
The way his dimples emerge when he smiles.
The way his cologne smells.
The way his name sounds when I say it.
The way his eyes sparkle.
The way he laughs.
In the midst of all of our messy, chaotic, joyful, busy, and beautiful, there is a love beyond measure.
You have it too, friend. It assuredly looks different than mine, which is what makes it yours. And so very extraordinary.
But, knowing me, I will still allow myself to get sucked into the commercialization of it all, that sneaky little Valentine’s Day trap. Because, in our extravagant, self-indulgent culture, it’s so stinking hard not to.
This notion of some ultimate love that requires grand gestures and looks nothing like the reality of our seemingly insignificant, typical, everyday love, that’s where we become deceived and dissatisfied.
So, to be honest, I probably needed this post more for me than anything else.
Tomorrow I’ll come back here to remind myself that I don’t need to be whisked away to a candlelit dinner. I don’t need a calculated, meticulously planned, perfectly contrived romantic gesture.
I have love in its most raw, authentic, genuine, natural form 365 days a year.
All of the chocolates and roses are just the cherry on top of the truly delicious hot fudge sundae. And the sundae – that’s the good stuff, friends.
The real tragedy would be to have all the cherries in the world without the rich, significantly more fulfilling foundation of a sundae.
Plus, I’ve never really been a fan of those maraschino cherries, anyway.