It is Valentine’s Day and love is in the air. I work with 15 year olds, you could cut the hormones with a knife. Flowers, balloons, candy, teddy bears holding hearts that say kiss me, Cupid has barfed all over the hallways and it is seeping into my classroom. It isn’t all bad. I had about 15 pieces of candy and a brownie before 10 am. I remember 15, the rush that the students are after. I remember when extravagant love looked like a 7 foot teddy bear with my name on it, roses that I could carry around and everyone would know I was special to someone.
It is Valentine’s Day, but also it is Thursday. For the Norman house Thursday looks like the kids at the sitter until I go and get them, and a hungry and brain dead dad coming through the door right as the kids are being tucked snuggly into bed. I had bought fancy groceries and was planning on putting the kids to bed early so that when Christian got home they would be asleep and we could eat a nice dinner and sit down together to a TV that is showing something besides My Little Ponies.
The Rooster started puking yesterday. She was up all night, feverish with her little hands held out, “hold you, hold you.” Neither Christian nor I got much sleep last night, her little body resting between us. Yesterday, Christian took one for the team and called in a favor so that his classes would be covered and he could stay home. Teddy bears and floral arrangements I suppose have their place, but right now in our lives, this love is extravagant. I will stay home, I will get puked on and carry around a baby for two days straight because I believe what you are doing is important. I value your job too.
My female students, with their candy in hand, have been asking me what I got for Valentine’s Day. I point at my nose, to the tiny turquoise stud that marks the point in my life that I claimed “unashamed.” It is even more special to me because Christian isn’t a huge fan. He didn’t completely hate the idea, but he didn’t love it either. But he loves me, and when something is important to me, it is important to him too. So, it was his gift. True love sits in the mini-van with your daughters while you do something you’ve wanted to do for a long time.
It is Valentine’s Day, and I am not sure if the baby will let us put her down for the amount of time it would take to cook and eat a nice dinner together. There is a distinct possibility that when I get home Christian will need to leave for two hours to recover what sanity he has left. But today, I know that I am loved well, and for that I am very grateful.