For Valentine’s, I didn’t expect chocolate or a date night. I did ask for a card, though. I wanted Michael to spend time browsing Hallmark’s best. I wanted him to reflect a bit–to ponder, while reading various cards, my awesomeness as a spouse.
This year, I spent the day of Valentine’s on the road. With no kids and the radio turned up, I had time to reflect a bit myself: I am lucky to love a guy like Michael. So, I thought I’d better do the card buying exercise as well. I stopped at the grocery store to learn that 5:30 p.m. on the busiest date night of the year is not the time to shop for Valentine’s cards. I scoured the lean selection, picking up a few, deciding nothing fit. And then I looked up.
Behind me and to my left and right were men. One with a balloon bouquet. One with salt and pepper hair. One in flannel and jeans. One with milk and a box of pasta. At least six men varying in age and marital status. Men with loved ones demanding cards, too. I laughed. I excused myself by squeezing between two of them. I went to the liquor store and picked up Michael a twelve-pack of Schell’s Bock. To him, that’s better than Hallmark.
When I opened the front door, my three daughters surrounded me at my waist. “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” and we all jumped in a circle of hugs. Melisandra broke away first. “Come, see what we did.”
I followed her to our dining room. On the wall was my Valentine’s card, a mural with scribbles and drawings and text handmade that afternoon. One side says, “We wanted to draw you some love.” On the other side at the bottom, Melisandra drew tulips that represent Michael and me. Over the top of one, it says, “You are now crowned queen.”
It was perfect.