So on my facebook author page, I've been running the 14 days of Valentine... fourteen posts in fourteen days with articles and stories I've written about men and relationships over the past five years or so. Some are more recent while others, I really had to dig deep to find. To recap...
February 3... "Reinventing Dating"
February 4... "More About Men"
February 5... "33 Days and Counting"
February 6... "I Walked Through the Door"
February 7... "Reflections On Relationships"
February 8... "85 Days and the Loneliest Job In the World"
February 10... "What It Says About You In the Papers"
February 11... "I Smelled of Smoke and Men"
February 12... "I Went To My Ex-Boyfriend's Wedding: A Sermon"
February 13... "Cats and Cookies"
And today's the day. But it's a little anti-climatic. I feel obligated to post something about the dreaded day even though it doesn't feel differently from any other. People have sent me beautiful graphics...
And wonderful videos (with compromising language, so I'm refraining from posting them here). And another lonely soul from Georgetown invited me to lunch at La Madeline. And KiKi and Pitty sent me a cute card about how I'm a princess (cleverly stuffed with money!). And my grandmother who collects, well, everything, posted this picture of a card my Great-Grandfather gave to my Great-Grandmother in 1907, one hundred and four years ago!
Kind of amazing.
But this was my day today, awake at 6:55pm after a 9.5 hour tech rehearsal (with one dinner break) yesterday (11 hours if you count driving time). Fed my neglected dog. Minimally got ready for the day (threw on clothes, brushed my teeth, did not brush my hair but put it in a pony tail), ate some of my roomie's cereal (because I haven't been to the grocery store in over two weeks ) and drove to Cedar Park.
I arrived to find everyone already awake. Bethany and the baby were eating breakfast out of the same bowl, cream of wheat with peanut butter in it. Gabe was loading the dishwasher and taking out the trash.
Why were they awake this early? Well, Tessla had awoken at 7:30, who knows why. Gabe had a morning meeting at work. And Bethany? Well, she has her second round of chemo today at the hospital in Round Rock. (If you missed her story, click here.)
"Here's the errands I need run. Stuff that needs to be dropped off places. It's all labeled," she said. "And I packed Tessla's overnight bag, everything except food. You can take care of that."
Yep. I'll be nannying tonight on Valentine's Day. Tessla will have her first slumber party at Auntie Ann's. And Auntie Ann doesn't have time to think about men or being lonely or wishing someone had bought her a "day at the spa" package or maybe a "pre-paid trip to the dentist" package. No time. No time for nice dinners at our favorite restaurant, no time for wine and chocolate and a little snuggle time in the TV room where the candles are dripping onto the furniture. No time for anything but the essentials: changing diapers, running errands, visiting the hospital, and practicing sign language for words like "please," "thank you," "mommy," and "story."
That's my life right now. And a fourteen and a half month old baby will be my Valentine this year while her daddy stays with her mommy who wants to get well.
If my perspective on this day weren't so acute, I might have posted about one of my favorite songs by Patty Griffin...
or perhaps written, not of how Jesus is my Valentine, but about the intent of Love, reflecting in part on the lyrics of Mumford and Sons song, Sigh No More:
Love it will not betray you
Dismay or enslave you, it will set you free
Be more like the man you were made to be
There is a design, an alignment, a cry
Of my heart to see,
The beauty of love as it was made to be.
But I won't. Not this Valentine's Day. Nope. No sad bastard music or morbid Glenn Close movies. No long hours of journaling into the night. Just some green pea Gerber baby food and a little Goodnight Moon for me.
And maybe that's all it takes.
For me and my valentine.