There are many reasons I could explain as to why a person shouldn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day with gifts, flowers, chocolates, and diamonds. These reasons may seem snarky or funny, some may be deemed legitimate. My reasons go beyond the crass truth that flowers die. They reach beyond the expensive jewelry price tags. And chocolates bear too much weight on my hips and back. Treats turn a lovely gesture into unwanted calories.
My main reason to not celebrate Cupid’s arrow plummeting towards my general direction is simple. Two years ago today, a bigger love came into my life a day after Valentine’s.
It started on an early Valentine’s Day evening. The lovely day turned into a night that I can only equate to medieval torture. It started as a labor from love.
A hopeless romantic mother picked a symbolic day to be induced into labor. Or perhaps, the day picked her. Children learn, grow, and choose their own times to do what they want, when they are ready to do it.
The baby wasn’t ready to come out. He was due on St. Patrick’s Day. But doctors saw a mother losing organ function. They instead saw St. Valentine’s Day as a more appropriate time to start the process which would bring my baby into the world.
In the long, painful evening called Valentine’s Day of 2013, my birthing story would be eternally seared into my memory. The pain wrenching throughout my back. The few minutes of sweet relief were quickly diminished by sharp stabs leaving me screaming in tears and cuss words.
Everything in my life changed on this Valentine’s night. I was transitioning into motherhood. It came swiftly. It was provided many drugs, such as a failed epidural and finally a successful spinal tap.
Then on February 15th, a little after 10:30 a.m., a spirit left my body and entered the world. He cried briefly in the sterilized hospital room. He was healthy. He was fine. He was the boy I grew inside of me for almost nine months. On the last push, love left my womb and filled the room.
I never cared much for the hoopla that dictated dinners, cards, flowers, diamonds, and candy on February 14th. Now I care even less.
On these days, I don’t expect to be romantic. I don’t expect to be lavished with gifts. Instead, I run around town gathering birthday supplies for a party. I pick up two cakes. One is just for him. One is to share with family and guests. I spend Valentine’s organizing and cleaning. I spend a day about love failing at Pinterest birthday crafts. I spend it in excitement for a birthday party. A celebration for the Terrific Toddler. He came the day he was meant to come. He came and showed me a love I never knew existed. He came with energy and enthusiasm, always absorbing the world around him. Tomorrow is his day. Valentine’s Day is only a precursor to a birthday.
Tomorrow my sweetness will be two. Two years ago, he blessed us with the best little boy God had available (and quite possibly the most energetic angel ever made.)
Unfortunately, my love is shifted to February 15th. My happiness is centered on a party, on gifts, and cakes along with some baby gold (balloons.) It is grounded in giving a little boy a happy celebratory day to honor his presence in our lives. We are lucky he chose us as parents. Even if the choosing date coincides with a romantic holiday, the day following the holiday is much bigger in our hearts and in our home.
Happy 2nd Birthday, Terrific Toddler.
Stay Terrific. Stay Gold.