Driving home in the shitshow tonight that was Louisville traffic, I had this niggling feeling in the back of my brain that one of us, in some recent past year, had maybe had a car incident of some sort - maybe that time a firetruck drove over Jimi's tire? Nope- according to Facebook memories, today is the 5 year anniversary of the day I wrecked my Honda Civic, the first new car I'd ever bought. I'd been driving it for 9 years at that point - 5 years later and I'm on my 3rd Subaru because apparently I'm a sucker for a low payment and fancy bells and whistles.
Another fun Valentine's Day related fact, at least in my mind - 5 years ago, I was a momma to one little girl, and knew in my heart that she was going to be our only child. On February 15th, James and Sage got married. Karen Battoe went home with us that night because she and I were both "overserved" - Jimi slept on the couch, Karen and I passed out in our bed. I swear there was no funny business, but 10 months later, to the day, Cora was born. I don't know what sort of witchcraft Karen pulled off that night, but I still threaten to go after her for child support.
We never celebrate Valentine's Day. Two days ago he asked if I wanted to do something this year and I reminded him we never do anything - he said, "I know, but I wanted to check and see if your feelings had changed." You know, because this is our 12th Valentine's Day together, and I guess you never know. He's a really smart man. But I didn't want to do anything; I hate the pressure of Valentine's Day. He shows me every day how much he loves me - he does the dishes and helps get the girls ready for school and gives them baths and watches Game of Thrones without rolling his eyes when I can't remember a single effing thing that happened and keep asking dumb questions even though we've obviously seen all of this before. Sometimes I wonder what it is that I do for him to show my love - it's been over 12 years and our kids are small and life is hard sometimes even when you have it really good, and the last year or so has been really hard inside my head. Laughingly I want to say I show him that I love him by going to work every day and then coming home at the end of each day, by not breaking things when I get pissed off, by doing the laundry - because honestly, some days, that feels like absolutely all that I have to give of myself. I don't even know when I last made a meatloaf for him.
If you've known us since the beginning, you'll remember how gross we were, how gross I was with all of my gushing and mushy over-sharing. Sometimes I try really hard to remember that time, to remember the newness and the excitement, to recapture those feelings. I remember, but they're fleeting feelings, as all of the best things in life are. You can't hold onto it forever. The beauty, though, is the foundation those feelings built. All of this mundane, all of this living when things aren't new and exciting, all of this real life bullshit, it's built on a foundation of that magic, and that is a solid, real, actual thing. It's what carries us when the days are long and the nights are short and our tempers are shorter. It's what carries us when things are hard - it's what reminds us of why we're doing this thing, how we made these people, how we're going to get through the lows until the next high comes along and we can take a breath.
Not for one moment in the last 12+ years have I wanted to leave. Not for one moment have I wanted him to be anyone else. I love that man with every part of my being, even when I'm angry with him and even when I'm pissed off at the world- I'd never want to walk my path in this life without him by my side. He's my best friend, my partner, and I love him forever.
What else is there in a Valentine?