Yesterday was my first Valentine’s Day as a mom.
It was a wonderful day, as I had expected, and a much needed day in the Johnson household.
What I didn’t expect was that of all the Valentine’s Days Aaron and I have celebrated, this one was my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, all our other valentine experiences have been very memorable, but being married with a child put this holiday into a new perspective for me. This Valentine’s Day was different.
This Valentine’s Day was actually needed. Before Desirae came along, Valentine’s Day was a bit superfluous because we could go out whenever and wherever we wanted. Now that we have a baby, going on a date requires a lot of planning. I spend most of my days wearing sweatpants and baby spit-up and tending to urgent baby screams and diaper explosions. This Valentine’s Day, Aaron and I needed time dedicated to each other. We needed a day to let those urgent baby needs wait and put each other first. Yesterday I was able to spend a day giving ALL of my focus to my husband. He didn’t have to share my attention with Desirae, and I didn’t have to worry about every whine and thump that I heard.
This Valentine’s Day was the most meaningful. Valentine’s Day has a bad reputation for being a Hallmark holiday that puts unnecessary pressure on couples and makes singles feel excluded (and I don’t necessarily disagree with that reputation). But I think Valentine’s Day is intended to remind you to acknowledge the love and relationship you share with people close to you. The longer Aaron and I are married, the more our relationship changes. That change is accompanied by more depth and meaning on days like Valentine’s Day. This year we were able to celebrate our role as parents and the joy we share in our daughter. I never realized how much my love for Aaron would grow as I watch him walk in his role as a father.
This Valentine’s Day was shared with our daughter. It was a holiday that was not only dedicated to the love in our marriage but our love as a mother and father. Aaron and I share an unparalleled love for Desirae; no one loves her the way we do. She is our baby, our daughter, and this year we were able to honor the love and relationship we have as a family. It was such a joy waking up and sharing in Desirae’s first Valentine’s Day experience. Even though she won’t remember it, we always will.
This Valentine’s Day I observed daddy daughter love. Yesterday Aaron did so much to bless me. He brought me breakfast in bed, bought me chocolates, flowers, and gifts, wrote a card, took me to a show, a nice dinner, and out for coffee. What surprised me was that he not only thought of me, but he thought of Desirae. After I walked downstairs in the morning, I found a card, yogurt melts (which are basically baby candy), and a flower all set aside especially for Desirae. Plus, the two of us had bought a Valentine’s Day gift for her the day before. Everything Aaron did for me was a blessing, but seeing him think of Desirae moved me in a different way. Observing the Aaron’s love for our daughter was almost more meaningful than anything he did for me yesterday. There’s something special about that daddy daughter love that touches a mama’s heart. Watching Aaron and Desirae’s relationship grow makes me fall more in love with Aaron and fills me with more gratitude and joy than I ever expected. At only ten months, I know Desirae doesn’t care about cards and flowers, but when she is older, she will look back and see photos of what her daddy did for her yesterday. She will find her first Valentine’s Day card in her memory box and be assured of how much her daddy loves her. Any boys that enter Desirae’s life in the future better be prepared, because her daddy has set the bar pretty high. A daddy teaches his daughter what it looks like to be dearly loved, and yesterday Aaron displayed a love that was kind, tender, and thoughtful. I am confident that Desirae will always know what it means to be treasured by her daddy, and that really made yesterday the best Valentine’s Day yet.