Valentine’s Day was just a few days ago. (If you did not realize this, and the strained silence of your spouse has not yet clued you in to this fact, then hurry; there may still be a few leftover boxes of chocolate hearts on the shelves beside the Reese’s peanut butter cup eggs and yellow Peeps chicks.)
Personally, I am never really prepared for Valentine’s Day. I usually find myself sifting through the picked-over Russell Stover selections the Saturday before the Big Day and remembering to sign my cards to my husband and kids the night before.
After I’ve already gone to bed.
And dug them out of the closet . . . from behind a pile of shoe boxes.
Take this year, for instance. I finally remembered to sign my cards so late into the night that my messages became less prolific with each card I wrote. My youngest son’s card ended up reading, “I love you more than chocolate.”
Hey, it’s not Maya Angelou, but it’s still a true statement.
Even though he didn’t believe me.
My lack of foresight doesn’t mean I don’t love all the hype. I do love the hearts, flowers, cards, and candy. I love the chance to tell those I love how much they mean to me. But, really, what’s love got to do with it?
Valentine’s Day is nice, but it’s not enough.
That kind of prepackaged love isn’t enough to make me speak kindly to my husband even when I don’t agree with him or to remain patient with my kids when they’re pushing my buttons like a game of Whack-a-Mole. I need something more than that. I need a kind of love can’t be bought for $9.99 and isn’t replaced by Easter baskets before I’ve even had a chance to do my shopping.
I want the kind of love that keeps on loving even when the other person is grumpy, tired, unreasonable, rude, unfair, or negative. I want to love my husband and kids like that because I need them to love me like that, and I know I’m not always lovable. (I know. Hard to believe.)