So Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and that means all the heart shaped boxes of candy are on the shelves everywhere you look, jewelry ads are all over the TV and in magazines, and love is in the air…. But while all of these Valentine’s Day rituals are a lot of fun, it seems more people do these things out of obligation rather than out of a genuine love for their partners. Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely not Anti-Valentine’s Day by any means…I think it’s wonderful to celebrate being in love, and I am definitely all for acts of kindness and romantic gestures of any sort. But it seems that these things tend to occur one silly day per year, and love is something that in my humble opinion, should be shown often, without reason or expectation, 365 days a year. So that leaves me with the question of the ages….What exactly IS this thing we call love? Some people claim is is nothing more than a chemical reaction in our brains. A release of endorphins or oxytocin…That love is merely something scientific. Others claim that love is a fairy tale like existence, where they are swept off of their feet and live happily ever after with a man who cooks, dotes on them and basically treats them like a goddess until death do they part…Some others claim that love is nothing more than lust in disguise, and when that fades we are all basically the victims of serial monogamy and on the hunt for our next one and only.
I, however, disagree with the above theories. My definition of love is something far more complex and far more simple all at the same time. Maybe it’s because it took me so long to find it. Maybe it’s because I did my fair share of kissing frogs before I found my prince. I didn’t know love, okay, let me rephrase…I didn’t know REAL, unconditional love until I reconnected with the man who is now my husband almost 6 years ago. And when I found him, I wasn’t even looking for anything, and my whole opinion of love in general was a little jaded and bitter, after having gone through an abusive marriage. When I found my Noodle, it hit me like a ton of bricks that THIS was different, and was what so many people spend their whole lives looking for and that few are fortunate enough to ever find.
My life isn’t full of flowers and candle-lit dinners…I don’t get serenaded or read poetry….I don’t get fancy jewelry or gifts….But what I DO have, in my mind, is far more special and more rare than that. It may not be glamorous or the stuff of romance novels, but here is what I have…This is what love is to me:
I have a man who knows me inside out and can finish my sentences and read my thoughts. We can communicate without saying a word. Yep, that’s how we roll. I think it’s pretty darn special, myself!
I have a man who can laugh at me when I am worrying too much and can snap me back to reality.
I have a man who does things like break into spontaneous dance, and while it is sometimes done at the most inappropriate time, it always makes me laugh.
I have a man who makes me feel safe and protected.
I have a man who, even while angry, has never once called me any names.
I have a man who loves to snuggle and doesn’t care who knows it.
I have a man who knows the worst things about me and loves me anyways.
I have a man who has no problem doing dishes, doing laundry, or helping out with household chores. And he does so without a single complaint. He may not always do the BEST job, but at least he tries!
I have a man who changes diapers, makes bottles, and meticulously packs his own diaper bag.
I have a man who always puts his family’s needs first, and does his best to make sure we’re taken care of.
I have a man who, no matter how tired, always finds the energy to play with the babies or wrestle with my 10 year old.
I have a man who goes out of his way for those he cares about. He has a big heart, even though he might not want people to know it.
I have a man who spent 2 back to back pregnancies cleaning up vomit from my hellacious morning sickness, put up with my raging hormones, and did it all with a smile.
I have a man who literally walked away from many toxic people and things for the sake of wanting to be a family. His lifestyle did a complete 180, and he made this choice on his own, and without regret.
I have a man who always makes sure my oil changes, etc, are up to date.
I have a man who can assemble things. This comes in handy.
I have a man who has a wonderful sense of humor.
I have a man who is slow to anger, and even slower to act out in an angry manner. He is incredibly laid back.
I have a man who puts things in perspective for me when I cannot seem to do so myself.
I have a man who, when looking at his children, absolutely melts. When I watch him with his babies, I fall in love with him all over again.
I have a man who while I was pregnant was willing to indulge any wacky preggo craving I may have had…even at 2:00AM, even in the snow.
I have a man who completes me. He is the make version of ME. We complement each other perfectly.
I have a man who lets me be ME, and to him, that’s always good enough.
This is what love means to me. Yes, my life is full of screaming babies, poopy diapers, bills we can barely pay and the stresses of everyday life. Will there be roses or jewels for me this Valentine’s Day? I highly doubt it. I doubt we will even be able to go out to dinner. With 2 small babies, a 10 year old, and only 1 income, we can’t afford it. But I am not disappointed. This Valentine’s Day (and every day) I am content with the knowledge that I am married to my best friend. I have someone I can lean on, who loves me unconditionally and will for the rest of my life. To me, love isn’t about what material things you can give someone. Love is about the gift of one’s self, and this is a gift he gives me and his children on a daily basis.
What are your plans this Valentine’s Day? What is YOUR definition of love?