Well, the Weekend of All the Love (which is more commonly referred to as Valentine’s Day in these circles) is over. I wish that I could say that I received an enormous bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates (and by box of chocolates, I really mean a bag of Reese’s peanut butter eggs, because Whitman’s can just be so unpredictable, especially when you cringe and shudder every single time you bite into the raspberry-goop ones), but the honest truth is that Hubs thinks Valentine’s Day is one of those non-holidays.
He shoves it right up high with Columbus Day, Groundhog Day, and National Weatherman’s Day. (And THAT, people, is actually a thing. National Weatherman’s Day is celebrated every year on February 5th, when you can thank these folks for predicting a day of 80% precipitation that turns out to be clear and sunny, where boys everywhere holler out, “My mom made me wear this thick sweater today, because it was supposed to be cold and drizzly, and I’m sweating like a fair pig in August now.”)
When Hubs buys presents for Valentine’s Day, it turns out a lot like this:
But here’s the kicker. After twenty solid years of marriage, I’ve come to realize that Hubs’ inability to remember that Valentine’s Day isn’t a floating holiday like Easter, which sometimes turns up in February and other years shows up in October, doesn’t matter.
He makes me coffee every morning, and he makes it perfectly.
He never complains when he sees the cereal boxes sitting on the kitchen counter at 6 PM, when I’ve had myself A DAY and the evening meal is going to be a bowl of Cheerios.
He helps with the dinner dishes almost every night.
He kills all the spiders.
He catches all the snakes in our yard and releases them somewhere safe, where I can’t see them and run them over with the Suburban.
He makes me laugh every single day.
I’ll probably keep him.
We did go out to dinner for Valentine’s Day on Saturday night. Our church’s youth group is raising money right now for the mission’s trip they’ll be venturing off on come June. As a fundraiser, the teenagers set up tables with fancy table cloths and centerpieces, strung long strands of white lights everywhere, hired the college’s jazz band to perform in the background, made spaghetti from scratch, learned how to make homemade yeast dinner rolls, and chopped an entire garden of iceberg lettuce, so that couples could come for dinner and make a donation to their trip. The kids all dressed up in skirts and ties and debuted their skills as waitresses and waiters; they brought plates piled high with spaghetti and refilled water and tea and coffee. They brought extra salad dressing and more butter to tables, and they learned to pour water out of a pitcher without dropping ice cubes on the guests.
It was a ton of fun. Hubs and I sat at a table with three other couples, who are all very close friends of ours, and we talked and laughed and laughed and talked and complimented the cute waitresses and waiters for a job well done.
Just look at THIS one!
I look at this kid of mine, and sometimes I gasp and wonder where the little boy went. Where is that child who could swing a lightsaber like it was an Olympic sport? Where is the little man who caught frogs and crawdads in the creek and asked me to read him bedtime stories every single night?
It’s hard to watch them grow up and become young adults, but man! I’m sure proud of how this one is turning out, and I enjoy the age of fifteen a lot.
(Except for that part where his bedroom floor is constantly covered in eight days’ worth of dirty clothes and he has nineteen dirty cereal bowls on his desk.)
Of course I made some of the other kiddos stop in the middle of serving dinner, so that I could snap pictures of them together.
Cousin L managed to serve dinners with grace and finesse, and I don’t think she spilled a single drop of Ranch salad dressing on herself. L is just very classy, like that.
And let me just tell you this one thing: I think it’s EVERY teenage girl’s dream to have her picture taken in front of the door to a public restroom. Clearly, I’m losing at GOOD BACKGROUND IDEAS IN PHOTOS.
The boy’s friend Gage was busy working hard at the dinner on Saturday evening, too. We have known Gage since the very day that he was born. In fact, after his mom and dad (who are good friends of ours), I was the very first person to hold him as a newborn baby, because his grandparents hadn’t arrived in town yet, even though we have it on good authority that his granddad was driving well above the speed limit to get here to that little baby boy.
Gage was our table’s waiter, and the best part of my entire evening was when he refilled my water glass with THE! VERY! BEST! MANNERS! of any waiter… ever… and an ice cube fell out of the pitcher and landed in my plate. Gage apologized profusely… and then he plucked up that ice cube… looked around like a deer in the headlights, trying to decide where to run… and then… very casually… shoved that big ice cube right into the front pocket of his jeans.
I laughed so hard, I had to clap for him. We love him so much.
We love ALL of these kids so much!
The Valentine’s dinner turned out to be marvelous and fun, and a downright good time.
On Sunday morning, there were some small gifts for our little punks.
Thing 2 was pleased as punch to get a new concrete truck that pumps out Play-Doh.
Teenage boys are elusive… a lot like Big Foot is… whenever a camera pops out.
HERE is my entire heart, sitting on the fireplace just before we left for church yesterday morning.
And then, Hubs let me have a nap on Sunday, while he kept Thing 2 busy with Play-Doh and toy trains. I wish that I could tell y’all that my nap was ladylike and glamorous and that I woke up looking like Audrey Hepburn, but the honest truth is this: Thing 2 hasn’t been sleeping well this past week or so, and I’ve been run down. I curled up with a blanket on my bed, blacked out for two hours and fifteen minutes, drooled on my pillow, lost all of the bobby pins out of my hair, had my flirty and sassy messy bun fall out so that it simply made me look homeless and strung out, and had to ask what day of the week it was.
That is true love… letting your wife sleep like that on a Sunday afternoon.
And then we spent Sunday evening with our friends, Tyler and Heather, having a spontaneous little dinner of homemade tacos, while the preschoolers played and fought over toys. We talked and laughed and laughed and talked some more.
It was one of the best Valentine’s Day weekends of the past twenty years.
Even without a present.
Dear Hubs, I love ya.