The history books give various reason as to why we celebrate Valentines Day but the cynical side of me feels it is just a total waste of money, that we are being taken advantage of as consumers. We are bombarded with valentines day related advertising showing us trips we should be taking and gifts we should be buying. In our house we don’t buy presents or go out to dinner. When we first met we used to go out for dinner on valentines day but it never felt romantic, to be honest it made me cringe. A restaurant full of couples, it felt really unnatural to me. I absolutely love going out to dinner with my husband, trying new restaurants or firm favourites but the shine seems to be taken off it slightly on valentines day.
However I have to say the other (and slightly larger) side of me, loves the idea of valentines day. Scheduling in a day when you have to take the time out to appreciate each other, especially once you have kids and get bogged down in day to day life, it’s a lovely idea. Maybe we should schedule in this day once a month though instead of only annually.
On valentines day my husband cooks, this is a rare occurrence. We sit at the table (instead of, in front of the TV), we eat, we drink and most importantly, we talk. We talk about our past and plan our future together, we put the world to right. I love valentines day because every year it makes me appreciate what a truly wonderful man I have, without whom I wouldn’t be writing this today. He has supported me in everything and anything I have wanted to do in my life. In the early days of our relationship, I remember him saying to me ‘stick with me and I’ll see you right’, I did and he has. I am so incredibly proud of his achievements and the man he has become. He is quietly confident, a closet geek, very handsome (and it is sickening to say but he seems to be getting even better with age), and he really is a true gentleman. He lets me be me and I hope I let him be him and I think that’s the key. We have changed so much during the time we have known each other but luckily we have changed together.
A few years ago we went to the French alps for a beautiful wedding and a speech made at the wedding has stuck with me ever since. I am very thankful that the writer has given me permission to quote this:
“To digress for one moment into metaphor – think of two trees growing side by side. If they are too close, clinging to one another, whether they know it or not, they begin to compete for the things they need – their leaves fight for scraps of light, their roots for the water and nutrients in the soil. Perhaps one tree will assert its dominance, outgrow the other, and while that tree may seem magnificent, the other is left stunted and permanently in shade. Or, alternatively, the contest might have no clear winner, only serving to prevent both trees from reaching their full potential. However, if there is sufficient distance between the trees, if they can each stand in their own light, if there is room for their branches and boughs to spread out in any direction they choose, you will end up with two strong, healthy trees standing proudly side by side, complementing each other, ready and fit to face the tests of time.” Hearing those words spoken (and written) by Philip Makatrewicz gave me goose bumps. He managed to capture beautifully and so eloquently, what being in a loving relationship should be like without being overly sentimental as is often the case. In a relationship, we must be given the freedom to pursue our own dreams, not just the dreams we have together.
There have been times in our 11 years together that I have to admit I haven’t always appreciated my husband, we’ve had our ups and downs like most. However, as time goes on I realise more and more how lucky I am, not just because of the way he treats me or because he is an amazing father to our children but mainly just because of the man he is. I love him more than I ever thought possible. Happy Valentines Day my sweetness, I know I am not the easiest person to love at times, and to everyone else, sorry if my declaration of love to my husband made you feel a little bit queasy, I promise it wont happen again!