Tuesday, February 14, 2006

On Valentine's Day.

I don't know about Valentine's Day. It's commercial. It's a Hallmark holiday. It sells roses and chocolates and forces people to scramble to come up with ways to express their love for one another. But I have a good V-day story to share anyway for cynics in the house.

For the old monkey and I, today marks the unofficial "when we started dating" anniversary. For the record, we have now known each other for 14 years. For all of my friends out there having the baby talks lately, I wish you could have been over at my house yesterday. Having a baby isn't always fun and cuteness and soft cuddly little baby kisses. They are fun, they make life interesting, and yes, they make your heart want to burst with love. But they can be more than that.

Suffice it to say, it was a LONG day. The little monkey isn't well, and by the end of the night, I felt it - between the long hours of no napping, the fever, the runny nose, the trying to get him to eat, the meds, and the grand finale of him throwing up all over his crib at bedtime. When the old monkey got home, I was collapsed on the couch, in tears, clutching the phone after speaking with the doctors, who informed me that I need to bring him in to the hospital tomorrow for blood work.

I felt run over. The little monkey has been doing so well lately. All signs suggest this is just a cold, and nothing serious, but with him, nothing can be left to chance. That's the thing - it will never be just about normal baby worries. There is always this cloud lingering over every incident that portends disaster. And despite how well he is doing, all the success he has had, the very fact that he is alive ... despite it all, I still worry.

A lot.

And many of those worries seem to be whether I'm good enough of a mom to take care of him the way he deserves to be cared for.

Jeff came in, sat down next to me, and spent the next hour talking me through all the reasons why he was so proud of me and why we will get through this and everything else. For every instance I told him I felt inadequate as a mother, he had something positive to say. And after all that, he got up, fixed dinner, and we sat down to eat at 10:00. This morning there was a card for me on the counter wishing me a happy v-day, and a small bag of Godiva chocolate hearts.. I feel like I got the best present I could ever have hoped for - someone who's there to lift my spirits when they are down, to encourage me when I want to give up, and someone who I seem to fall in love with a little more every year. Jeff, old monkey, You are the best husband, father and friend I could ever hope to have. You are the kind of man I pray our son grows up to be.

the wife.
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