I received an unexpected sweet treat from an admirer last Valentine’s Day. A delightful half dozen previously enjoyed donut holes upchucked all over my lap by my adoring almost 2-year-old son. Not an ideal way to start a day meant to be full of romance and affection. Although, I suppose this is ultimately where romance and affection leads.
No dressing up and hitting the town for us. I sported my mom bun and a fresh pair of yoga pants for the rest of the day. While my friends were getting bouquets of flowers delivered to their cubicles, I was delivering Pedialyte popsicles and clean puke buckets to my sick children on the couch. Stomach viruses are a nasty business, especially when the ones infected don’t know how to sit on a toilet much less get there in time to blow grits in it. No one tells you about the anxiety that plagues the caregiver in these situations either. My sweet babies were miserable and there was nothing I could do beyond giving cuddles, trying to keep them hydrated and praying. At last, my knight in shining armor came home with dinner and a growler of honey mead for me. He put the children to bed and helped me finish editing videos for a deadline I was trying to meet.
It was the best Valentine’s Day I’ve ever had.
The moment my lap became soiled with regurgitated sugar balls my romantic expectations for the day went from a movie scene out of The Notebook to one from True Grit. I was free to treat the day like any other day in the trenches of motherhood. It was gross and difficult but I was doing what moms do best, nurturing my children. I struggle with anxiety, especially when it comes to my babies’ health. I have learned I need to go to God before Google when an illness is in our house. Consequently, I spend more time praying throughout these days than any other, which puts my mind on God and His perfect love instead of myself. At the end of the day, my husband was able to easily address some very basic needs I had, food, parental relief, and a deadline. He did what husbands do best. He provided.
Sometimes I think I know what love is and then I experience it as God intended and it is so much better than I could have imagined. Romance may be the giant jumbotron gestures, but love includes the unsung moments of motherhood.
This valentine’s day let’s show some love. You don’t need to buy a cheesy stuffed animal or a $40 bouquet of roses. Be patient, kind, generous, forgiving…love as God intends His children to love.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.1 Corinthians 13:4-5