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How was your Valentine's day?

February 16, 2009 - Betsy Bethel
My husband for years did not celebrate Valentine's Day. Even during our so-called courtship, when men are supposed to go overboard in the romance department -- nary a flower, nor a heart-shaped box of chocolates. He loves me, he'd say. Cut flowers die. Candy gets eaten. He loves me, what's the big deal?

He would say Valentine's Day isn't a real holiday, that it's just a way for Hallmark to milk more money out him, just like Mother's Day. (I learned early you can't milk money from a Scot any more than you can pry a felled zebra out of a lion's jaws.)

Well, he got away with it, didn't he? I fell in love with him anyway, and thank God I did! But I went in with my eyes wide open.

After we were married, as expected, still no Valentine's Day celebrations. I continued to give him cards, and even little gifts, for several years, although I quit after awhile. We might have had a special dinner at home -- not out, though ... Lord, no. Restaurants are too crowded that day! Mother's day also would come and go, and because I was a stepmother now, my own mom would send me a card. But nothing from Dave. "You're not my mother," he'd say.

Then something happened. A 7-pound something with blue eyes and pink skin and Dave's nose. Everything changed since I became Dave's baby girl's mom.

Ever since Emma Skye was born, Valentine's Day and Mother's Day have somehow become legitimate holidays in Dave's eyes, much to my amazement and pleasure.

On Friday, he came home with a potted miniature rose plant for me. I was stunned to tears. And do you know that last year on our ninth anniversary, he sent me a dozen roses at work? There's a first time for everything.

Mother's Day also is marked as a special occasion at our house now. Although let me state for the record, I really desire no gifts on this day, just extra special attention and love from my family!

I don't care the reason behind the transformation. Perhaps his very close co-workers — all of whom are women and whom he calls his "work wives" (cringe) — set him straight. Maybe it's because he was by my side every minute of my long labor and delivery and is still grateful for what I went through. Who knows. Maybe he simply had an epiphany.

But as much as I told myself before that I didn't really care, you know, that's just how he is, I am soooo thankful that he's changed his tune.

We spent Saturday hanging out together — Emma, Dave, the cat, the dog and me. I prepared a home-cooked meal, which I admit I do much too seldomly. Emma and I had fun baking a special Valentine brownie dessert with fresh sliced strawberries. (She thought she was the bee's knees when she learned she could "shonk" the strawberries all by herself using the egg slicer.)

We all were a bit under the weather, and there were moments when "love" was not at the top of any of our minds. But at the end of the day, I think we all felt loved.

Whether it's Feb. 14 or any other day of the year, it's just nice to be fussed over once in awhile.

NOTE TO READERS: Find out what else I have to say at my other blog site, "More Momsense," on the OV Parent Web site. Just click the link above! Latest post: "Ohio Valley parents, have we got problems."


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