At the moment, I'm waking early (or one of the kids is waking me early) while my husband slumbers...and by the time the children are in bed, I'm ready to crash out too. During our busy days, sometimes it's all my husband and I can do to sit and have a cup of tea together, or grab lunch on the go as we shop for a vehicle big enough to contain our expanding family (oh - and our camping gear.) Togetherness can be elusive; romance is not dead in our marriage, but at the moment spending time in each other's company is enough to be treasured. There's a line in the film Before Sunset (when Jesse, the guy played by Ethan Hawke is leaving his wife for his former, lost love): "I feel like I'm running a small nursery with someone I used to date." This can sometimes sum up our family life for me. Only by instilling date nights & days hanging out into our schedules have we managed to redress the balance, I think - and even though I'm now into the allegedly blooming, energised second trimester, these are still on the backburner.
I still don't know what my husband bought me for Valentines' Day this year - we usually only exchange a small token (and the heart-shaped box containing a truffle from the famed chocolatiers Charbonnel & Walker I purchased for him is truly, hormonally, lost somewhere in a 'safe' place. Not my stomach.) I had mentioned my desire for a something floral, he had placed an order, and muttered that something might be delivered - which never turned up. Perhaps someone else was accidentally gifted the present, or it was sent astray. I don't know - and strangely, I don't care.
I don't want to sound like I'm rejecting a romantic gesture. (Although, I guess a romantic gesture it wasn't - more a romantic response to the expectations of one woman in today's commercialised, Valentines society.) I would (and will - if it turns up!) be enamoured of whatever gift I was sent; be touched; have tears; be pleased; feel love. But, these days, I have this response towards the devoted actions of the man I love, and who shows his love for me (and others) in mundane domestic chores, management of a troublesome family meal, entertaining two small (and demanding) children and bringing me a fresh glass of water to my bedside table every single night. That's romance to me. And as well as a store-bought Valentine card professing love, I already had the greatest gift today - someone helping me take the children to Church for the family service, which would otherwise render me exhausted for the rest of Sunday. (Although I have to admit I still had a short afternoon snooze.) And this evening, I am happy just being in my husband's company, in the same room, while our children doze upstairs, all having spent another busy day together, which happened to be dedicated to St Valentine.