Valentine's day was filled with many sweet moments this year. A few days before the 14th Leo exclaimed "I just LOOOOOVE Valentine's Day!" I was a bit surprised by his enthusiasm for the holiday and got a little nervous that he was recalling some tradition I'd started and forgotten. So I asked him, "What is it that we do on Valentine's Day?" I was expecting him to reply something along the lines of "eat lots of chocolate!" or "get candy!" - which would have been fine, I just needed to have his expectations clarified. Instead, he looked a me with wide eyes and responded, "We love, mama!" Oh, my guy. We sure do don't we.
I began the day by sleeping in (jb played hooky a bit in the morning to hang out with the kids) and then was served breakfast in bed - heart shaped pancakes, a hershey kiss and a latte. Leo could not get over how hilarious jb was for writing "We love you a latte!" on my plate. I joined the family in the kitchen and over his own plate of heart shaped pancakes Leo asked, "So how did you guys fall in love?"
jb began the story, "Do you know what lobbying is?" Ahhhhh, only our love story. jb explained to Leo how we met on a trip to DC to talk to our representatives about issues that were important to us. Then he wanted to fast forward: "So then you decided you wanted to have a baby?" he asked eagerly wanting to get to the part of our family love story that included him. "Yes," we said and told him once again about how we had so much love to share that we thought it was time to grow our family from two to three...and then to four. After breakfast, jb had to get to work - but the kids and I stayed busy baking cookies and making cards. That afternoon we went to Leo's soccer class and handed out cookies and cards to his teammates. We also stopped at businesses and houses of people we knew along the way to drop off cookies (remind me to halve that recipe next time...seriously it made like five dozen cookies).
Once we were home and preparing dinner, jb arrived from work. This moment was the best moment of the whole day - a moment I think jb and I want to remember for years to come. jb walked in carrying a couple gift bags and a bouquet of flowers. Now, flowers are a common gift in our home. In fact, every time jb takes the kids to Costco (usually every other week) they pick out a bouquet of fresh flowers for me. Each and every time, they come through the door SO excited to give them to me and beaming with pride when I exclaim how much I love them. So when Leo spotted the flowers in jb's hand he got an excited look of "I know what's about to happen next!" He scurried onto a chair to get a better view of the giving of the flowers and watched my face expectantly. That's when jb walked over to Leo and held out the bouquet saying, "I thought it might be nice if I got you flowers for Valentine's Day." Leo audibly gasped and his hand clapped over his heart. "For me?" he asked breathlessly. He was like an ingenue from an old movie. The delight and surprise nearly knocked him off his chair. It was perfect.
Then we sat down for dinner and exchanged cards (once again, Leo was surprised and delighted that there was a card for him) and jb gave us each gifts. I was spoiled with Max Brenner bonbons and toiletries from Lush (including a massage bar that I can't wait to try). The kids also got small boxes of chocolates and a sweet smelling soap. It was a such a sweet day and I feel so lucky to have three beloved valentines in my life. As we were putting the kids to bed Leo suggested, "You guys should have one of your mini-dates on the couch," which is what we call our time after the kids are asleep and jb and I can curl up on the sofa and watch a show or talk. We took his advice - and that was the end of my perfect* Valentine's day.
*I purposefully glossed over pushing the stroller like a snow plow across West Philly. That was less than ideal, but I can't very well not leave the house until the spring.