Before ‘the year 2000’ (Yes, that was totally a Conan reference; I’m a nerd, remember? He is our king.) if you had asked me what I thought about Valentine’s Day, I would have given you a snarky answer. And that’s if I was feeling polite.
I wasn’t big on Valentine’s, you might say.
The weekend of Valentine’s Day in 2000, however, is the first time I went out with J (after months of him asking me; he finally wore me down. Seriously. He’d been asking since September). It was awkward, as first dates usually are, and doubly so because it was so close to Valentine’s. And then there was the fact that he won a Victoria’s Secret gift card during the night, and was presented with the “Do I keep this and look like a creeper, or do I give this to her, and look like a creeper on a first date?” scenario. It was fun to watch him squirm. We’ve basically been inseparable since then.
That wasn’t the most exciting Valentine’s Day I’ve ever experienced, however. Ten years ago today, in the wee hours of the morning, I awoke to realize that I was (FINALLY) in labor with Ant.
I patiently waited until J awoke at six to go to work to tell him what was up—so that he could call in. We patiently took K to school, so he could attend his Valentine’s party. I patiently waited for my 9am OB appointment (given how far past my due date I was, they’d started seeing me twice a week). After my appointment, I decided to do some more patient waiting at home. With a bacon cheeseburger and some onion rings (last meal before ice chip hell). By 1pm, I started thinking about going to the hospital again—mainly because the blizzard had started. We got eight or nine inches of snow the night Ant was born. By 3pm I was settled in my L&D room. And by about 10pm, I thought we were going to finally see the little man who was a miracle—the baby that wasn’t supposed to be possible to conceive. The baby that I almost lost at 17 weeks.
Ant has always been a strong-willed child. He had other plans. He’s also a daredevil who likes to scare the crap out of me. We finally got to meet him on February 15th, at 1:32 am, thanks to the chief of staff and an emergency c-section and an amazing pediatric team. Apparently my moderated activity prescription had worked a little too well. The baby that tried to be born too small ended up being way too large—at ten pounds, eleven ounces, at birth.
So, one could say that I forgot about the Valentine’s card I had purchased for J because I was a little occupied that day. A week later, when we finally got home, I found it on the dresser, we laughed about it, I placed in the dresser, and then I promptly found a comfortable spot on my own bed and took a nap. That card will remain in my dresser for the rest of my life.
Since 2000 and especially since 2003, Valentine’s has taken a completely new meaning for me. Yes, I still think it’s a bit too consumerist, and think a lot of the symbolism has been lost, I don’t need roses, per se, yada, yada, yada. Yet… now the day is full of excitement, remembrances, and anticipation for tomorrow. Tomorrow, my younger child will hit the double digits. I will have children who are 15 and 10, respectively. In my mind, it officially marks the end of our time of having small children. While I know that there will be no dramatic shift in the world’s gravitational pull tomorrow morning, and Ant will appear the same as he does today, for me… Valentine’s Day today just feels as if it is the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.
This post written for the Mama Kat’s prompt: A Valentine's Day you remember.