Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's reflections

Me and my Valentine at this year's company Christmas party.  I am very pregnant, and very uncharacteristically in a sports stadium.
It's February 14th, meaning that my big kids just set off for their weekly homeschool co-op with homemade cards in hand, eagerly anticipating a day filled with sugar consumption and hearts.  Meanwhile I'm home with my little ones, anticipating what will be a belated Valentine's Day date with my husband once I'm finally over this ridiculous cold and can, you know, actually taste food again.  (Word to the wise: don't come down with a week-plus-long cold when you're 37 weeks pregnant.  Just don't.  It's awful.)

Now my husband doesn't know this, but our date will also include shopping for baby things--because I'm completely unprepared for Baby Girl's birth in two weeks.  As in I presently have one onesie, one nightgown and one pair of pants for baby, and no nursing bra for me.  Oh, and I need to buy an infant carseat, 'cause I don't have one of those either, and supposedly babies use them.

I figure that's what you do with your Special Valentine when you've been married ten-plus years: you go to dinner and shop for the baby, and hope it all gets done before your water breaks.  And in my case, you have a heck of a good time doing it.

Because, well, I love my husband an awful lot.  I love being married, I love thinking back to when we were dating, and I love our story.  I love how we married young and started having children young.  I love all of the assorted adventures we've had and I love thinking about the many more up ahead.  I love us.

Marriage is awesome.  Even in the mundane.  Maybe especially in the mundane.

I read an interesting article in Salon recently that I plan to write more fully about at some point in the future.  For now I'll tell you that the subject was Mormon mommy blogs, and why so many people are addicted to them...including the author of the article--a self-described (and unmarried) feminist.  Her point was that people are clearly drawn to the shiny-happy marriages and families portrayed by these LDS bloggers, and it's no wonder: we live in a time and place where we're supposed to be discontent, stressed out, "too busy".  Marriages aren't necessarily all that happy.  So these glimpses into the lives of people who might just be happy serve as a sort of escape, or at the very least, an encouragement or assurance that it's at least possible.

It got me thinking about how maybe the culture really does need more and not less of that. More women and more men willing to share the good about married life, raising children, and domesticity.  Not from a look-at-my-perfectly-photographed-and-magazine-worthy-house-and-family perspective, but from a life-is-simple-and-there-is-joy-in-my-vocation sort of place. 

If nothing else, we married people could certainly aim to laugh at ourselves a bit more, and maybe not take things quite so seriously. 

Things like Baby Girl being due in two weeks...closing on our new home shortly after the due date...packing up my house in the final stages of pregnancy...discovering that I have literally no present ability to dress, change, or transport Baby Girl...being bedridden with a cold when I'm supposed to be doing all the aforementioned other stuff.  It's real life, and it's positively crazy, and I swear that the secret to staying sane and happy is that my husband and I laugh about it pretty much every single day.

This is of course part of why I'm so very happy to be married to my husband.  He's someone I admire quite a bit, he takes good care of his family, he is devoted to Jesus, and he cracks me up.  We're best friends. 

A blog reader actually emailed me a long time ago asking if I'd write a post about how to find a good spouse.  And that post is sitting, unfinished, in my drafts.  Sad.  I need to finish it.  It's fun for me to write about stuff like that because I really did find a good husband, which is a good thing because it's one of the most important decisions you'll ever make.  God has blessed us with a delightful marriage and beautiful life together and I don't take that for granted.  No it doesn't mean we never argue or get angry, but it means that we really, genuinely like each other.  That we look forward to time together, even if it's dragging screaming kids through Target or making a spontaneous offer on a house.  And above all else, we're fiercely committed to our marriage.  Until death do us part.  No if's, and's or but's.  No escape clauses.   

So anyway, that's my Valentine's Day: trying to kick this rotten cold so I can go to dinner, and so my baby will have socks.  And you know what?  I can't wait.  Because it's going to be me and him, good food, good conversation, and a lot of laughing.  Love.


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