And for year three? I don't know what the plan is. Jesus and I got as far as "We should eat dinner..." before we ran out of ideas. I have a little something planned, gift-wise. I'm wearing a heart shirt and two pairs of heart socks (out of necessity for their warmth, not because I'm that into Valentine's Day). I bought a bag of red and white M&M's that I had for dessert last night and pre-breakfast this morning. The festivity is out of control.
What I'm really reflecting on this year isn't the flowers or the chocolate or making lovey dovey eyes over the dinner table. I'm thinking about how I learned what love is, and who taught me: my parents. Already this morning, my dad was the first to text me with Valentine's Day greetings. They are spending the day with my brother--not off on a date by themselves. In the past they've spent their anniversary with me. Spring Break? They're hanging out with my sister. Especially now, with all of us kids out of the house, my parents like to celebrate their love by being with their kids.
I don't know what kind of relationship I'd be in if I didn't have my parents as role models, but it certainly wouldn't be the same. My parents' relationship taught me about gender equality, selflessness, communication, and truly enjoying someone else's company. Because of them, I rarely pined for a boyfriend growing up. As lame as this sounds (and there were times I did pine--I was still a teenager), I had Mom and Dad as Valentines. Besides, I wanted what they had, not something slapped together out of desperation for connection.
Now that I have something real (after a few missteps and wrong turns, of course), I'm even more grateful I have their relationship to reference. And not only theirs--both sets of my grandparents celebrate 60 years of marriage this year. Wow! I'm grateful to have so many caring men and strong women to look up to.
Because I know they'll be the first to read this--Happy Valentine's Day, Mom and Dad! I love you both.
Happy Valentine's Day to you, too, Jesus...I know you'll read this after I remind you I posted. :) And can we watch this tonight?