I had planned to make Valentine's Day special. Not just for the most wonderful Hubby in the world but for the kids, too. I wanted to make a nice dinner, eat by candlelight in a clean house, and make a Valentine's cake I knew they'd all love for dessert. I didn't share my plans with anyone so I shouldn't have been surprised when Don had some of his own.
Yesterday, each of us came down to find a wonderful box of chocolates on our desks. Mine had a love note and card attached to it from Don, and the kids each had their own box with a love note on it signed "Love Mom and Dad". As I looked at the joy on the boys faces I thought it was important for them to know that it wasn't Mom and Dad that had done that, but Dad. All on his own. Without any help from me. Without even a hint of a push, even. It was all him. When I shared that, I could tell it meant even more to them. Dad, not the normal gift buyer/take care of things person had gone out of his way to buy them something special and then hide it until the appropriate time came. I smiled with the joy of knowing I'd done just one more little thing to draw the 'men' in the family closer together.
Then, when all was quiet and relatively clean, I headed out to get the last minute things I needed to make the dinner special. I so wanted to find a meaningful gift for Don but alas that's difficult at best when you are on a budget. I've done things like coupons and such in the past, and we've got enough romance helpers to keep us enjoying that realm for years. So what to do?
I headed to Kohl's. Turns out they were having a wonderful clearance sale on robes. What better way to let him know that he is wrapped in my love than to give him a new, soft, cozy robe! Yes!!! Success! And on sale, sale, sale!!! Then it was off to Marc's for cards and something special for the kids. They needed no more chocolate so I thought I'd get them some nuts. They all love nuts and we can't seem to keep them in stock here because as soon as they are discovered, they are gone. Everyone got their own can/jar/whatever of their favorites. And since we're all a little nutty, it seemed to fit. :)
Later during dinner as we all sat together enjoying our steaks, I asked everyone to share something they appreciated about all of the others sitting at the table. And then I went first to kind of help them understand what I meant. I started with Jonathan. He's my bashful one and he tried to brush off my praise of his willingness to help and his ability to read others quietly and realize when they just need a hug. But I persisted. I think it was a good thing. He got quiet so I know he knew I meant it. I praised Matthew for his growing maturity and my pleasure with the young man he was becoming. And I thanked Laura for bringing such joy in to my life. I told Don how much I appreciated his loyalty and his love. And I thanked him for getting up every morning before the sun and heading off to work so I can stay home with the kids and take care of the family.
Then it was Jonathan's turn, followed by Matthew and then finally Don. I think the thing that was so evident was just how much the boys appreciate what Don does for them, how they really do get that we may not have a ton of material things but we have a great family that supports each other, and that he really does love them very much. Matthew also mentioned how much he loves it when Don shows him how to fix things and works with him on projects in the garage. I watched Don's face at that one. I know he was surprised at all that they said and I hope it helps him have more confidence at being a Dad even though he didn't start out with them from the beginning.
And through it all, I learned that they really do appreciate having clean laundry and relatively good meals. :) It is nice to know that they see the value of having a Mom who stays home with them and enjoys teaching them over the latest gadgets and 'stuff' that, in the long run, has little to no meaning later in life. Yes, it was a good day. A day to reflect on what is important about those we love and a time to tell them so. I'm so glad the Lord gave me Don. Through him, I have a new identity in life. That of a stay at home Mom. I can't think of a better place to be.