It’s the month of love and hearts and all that other mushy stuff. Of course, Valentine’s Day is much different as a parent than it was before kids. Before…roses, fancy dinners, and chocolates. Now…cookies, cards for the classmates, and conversation hearts.
The whole notion of love is different now, too. Back in my I’m never having kids days, I got a lot of advice on the subject of procreation, both solicited and not-so-much. One person’s two cents that I remember in particular went like this: “You can’t imagine loving anyone more than your spouse, until you have a child. It’s like, if a bus is coming straight toward both of them, there’s no question which one you would save.” That explanation was a bigger turn-off to the thought of reproducing than all of the grocery store tantrums I had ever witnessed combined. “Well I don’t think I want to love someone more than my husband,” I proclaimed. “And I definitely don’t want him to love someone more than he loves me!” And the thought of me as a human speed-bump, watching my family walk away from me and the bus that took me out didn’t help things either. Nope, no kids for me!
Now that I have my children, I get it. I don’t think I could explain the different kind of love that you feel for your child versus your spouse, but it is different – more protective, fiercer, perhaps. I think the part that makes it okay that my husband might love someone more than me is because the feeling is mutual. For me anyway, it’s the coming together of the two parties involved in the whole parenthood thing that makes the ride worthwhile. Watching my husband, who I was with for 15 years pre-kids, turn into a wonderful father, has been, for lack of fancier words – just the coolest thing ever.
Then came the question that I think every parent has asked themselves when child number two is due to arrive: “How am I supposed to make room in my heart for another child? I love this one sooooo much, I just don’t think I have enough love to go around.” But then of course, you do. And again, it’s not something that can really be explained. It has to be experienced. We just DO have more love… and more and more. Every day I’m amazed at the depths of my love for all three of my Valentine boys – the two little ones, and the big one who helped make them.
Enough sappy talk already. Bring on the hearts and mush and candy and scissors and glue and everything it takes to make February 14th special. And check back next month to see if I get this choked up over St. Patrick.
Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Richmond Family Magazine!