I learned a long time ago that we don't do mushy. We don't big puffy heart anything around here. We never have. The sweeping romantic gesture has never been a staple in our relationship. But I'm ok with all of that. I knew, the night that I met you that I wanted you in my life. Even if we hated each other at first. I think that was part of the attraction, we both wanted to have the last word. I've discovered that there is no last word in this relationship. There will be a last anything. But just for today, I will put you on the spot, in the way you hate the most, to celebrate this day, that you hate the most.
I love you. And not in an "He's so dreamy" way, but in a whole body, something is missing without you kind of way.
We didn't have the traditional courtship of our peers. We spent our nights boozy and free. Too afraid to admit how we really felt about each other. Because it was so powerful. It had roots. We had a tangled web before we even had a chance to spin it. It's just the way it was. It's just the way that it is.
We dated on and off for three years. The off times just about killed me. I pined for you. I held my breath for you. I came running as soon as you called. There were so many people who said I was crazy and out of my mind. But I didn't care. I knew this was what I wanted. It's what I've always wanted. But those years left so many scars that we can't erase. Even if we want to. It's no wonder that I still wake in a panic, thinking that I'm back in my sorority house bunk, waiting for your call, only to find relief at the sight of our sleeping babies.
The love part has been easy. I fell, so hard and so deeply. It was so absolute. I drowned in it and bathed in it. It's the marriage part that has been so hard. I'm flawed and messy. I'm spoiled and self centered. I'm not saying you are perfect either, and together we are no walk in the park.
But I have never thought about a life without you. Since we met, my story has included you. Because there is no me without you. I am who I am today, in this moment because I fell in love with you and you eventually fell in love with me. This life with you has never been easy, but I don't think we would want it that way. Easy was never part of the plan, but love always was.
You my love, are the great story of my life. I could write one thousand stories about anyone and no one, everyone and someone, but none of those stories would be as important as the one I'm writing with you. Because all of those other stories have endings. but we continue to write new chapters of this story. This is the one that matters the most.
Today is Valentine's Day and all I can think about are all of those Valentine's days of our past. The email you sent me that first year, that reminded me that you must still think about me too. The phone call after months of silence, like a peace offering, like an apology. The year you spent Valentine's Day in Alaska and sent me flowers via a local flower shop, and they included a teddy bear that you swore you would never buy me if given a choice. I still laugh about that now. Our first Valentine's Day as parents when I burned dinner and we ate no bake cheese cake out of the pan instead.
As much as you hate our life being on full display on this blog, I felt like it needed to be said. Because sometimes I love yous aren't enough. But know this: I love you, in a grand romantic gesture kind of way. I love you in a big puffy heart, unicorn and flowers kind of way. I love you because I still have your first cell phone number memorized, somehow forever tattooed on my heart. I love you because you asked my dad for my hand in marriage, as if people our age still did that anymore. I love you because you were so excited the day Caitlin was born, and so exhausted the day Mac was born. I love you because you let me shower first, even when I'm going to make you late for work, and I love you because you will eat at Cheesecake again, because you know it's my favorite. I love you because we can talk in movie quotes and because a night in our bed watching movies is just as good as any date night.
I love you. Because it's what I decided to do that summer night in 1999. When you made fun of my hat. When you accused me of stealing your beer. When I gave you my number anyway.
I love you because my life would have never worked without you.
Because you finally came to your good senses and loved me back.
Because you lose all of that good sense when you love me anyway.
I love you because you have always fought the good fight for this one thing.
Happy Valentine's Day in the mushy, sentimental, big puffy heart kind of way that you hate.