Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Let the love fest and PDA obsession take over today’s social media feed. Everyone will express their form of love towards their significant other, families, friends, whoever it may be. Although Valentine’s Day has become a superficial holiday where societal expectations include flowers, chocolates and a nice meal, today feels a bit different than any other day. Today I get to enjoy Valentine’s Day with 2 children who I brought into the world. Two children who have a roof over their head and food on the table. Two children who have different wants and needs since one is 8 years old and the other is 9 months old.
Love was a fickle word to me. I was told to love people, but never understood how to feel it. I would say “I love you” to my family and it would have no meaning behind it. The movies made love look easy to find when you’re looking or not. Love was something that had to be discovered and understood in order to feel it. I didn’t know what love was until I met my husband. In 2008, I attended a spiritual 3-day retreat in Upstate New York where I faced my fears and anxieties including my out of wedlock pregnancy. I felt ashamed and carried a big burden on my shoulders assuming my boyfriend (now husband) wasn’t going to stick around as a parent. At the end of the 3-day retreat, I received a nice basket of love letters with praises of love and courage for the path I was walking on. Before I opened any letters, I saw a big green envelope with my boyfriend’s handwriting on it. Right then and there, my heart sank and I started to cry like a big baby. I discovered love.
Love has many faces and transforms itself over time. Love is expressed in different ways that may or may not make sense. Love is pure, honest, and transcends above anything. Love has been tested many times in my life. The biggest and greatest test of love has been bringing my children into the world. Both pregnancies had different paths and challenges, but the end result was the same. I have never loved another person so much as I love my children. Their innocent expressions and smiles make my heart jump all the time. Their laughs and giggles make me want to freeze time so I can hold onto their sounds for a few seconds more. My children have brought a lot of happiness into my life. They have challenged me to discover another level of love. Even though one talks like a teenager and the other talks with single syllable sounds, I know how they say “I love you”. When my daughter is rewarded after doing well at school or home, she gives the best bear hugs and says, “You’re the best mom”. When my son wakes up from a nap, he has the biggest smile when he sees me enter the room. When I wrestle with my kids and attack them with tickles, their laughter and excitement brings joy to my heart. Without my kids, my life wouldn’t be the same. They complete my married life and have the best features of my husband and me.
To my kids, you are the greatest gifts that life could ever give me. I will face more (parenting) challenges as you grow up. I will be by your side with all your accomplishments and victories. I will carry you when you fall and help guide you to whatever dreams you strive to. But for now, I will squeeze you both in my arms and enjoy these precious times while you’re both little. I love you my little babies.