It was a dimly lit, upscale Chinese restaurant on Post Oak. He’d picked me up in his mom’s new Jag. We’d been dating just over two months.
February 14, 2004.
Hard to believe, fourteen years ago.
I fell in love with him that night.
It probably sounds Hallmark-y and made up, but I did. I already liked him A LOT and the food was fine and the car was fun, but that had nothing to do with it. He had been babysitting his nieces earlier. They were nine, six and three. I’d just met them the week before. He had these funny stories, especially about the one who was in throes of the terrible threes.
As I listened to him, I fell in love with him.
We are, on the whole, a particularly un-Hallmark couple. I’ve written about it before. And I don’t write about “us” a lot because he’s intensely private and never signed up to be married to a blogger. (That’ll teach him to have triplets with a woman who loves to write… no telling what you’ll end up with.)
That’s why it’s important for me to remember that Valentine’s Day night all those years ago.
And when contrasted to tonight’s super-romantic offerings, I’d take tonight over a dimly lit restaurant on Post Oak every single Valentine’s Day.
What could top that night you fell in love, you ask?
Well, we woke up early and the whole lot of us opened our Valentine’s Day cards and candy. (The kids also got Legos but Bray and I will settle for a funny card and piece of chocolate – you know we’ll end up having to do the Legos though…)
Then he helped the kids get ready for school while I raced out the door for an early morning meeting at work.
We’ll both race home tonight because the boys have their first basketball playoff game this Valentine’s Day evening at 5:45. Their team has been really good this year, so we just found out this week we have two more games. One on the “most romantic” night of the year, and the other one Saturday morning right in the middle of a retreat I was supposed to have attended.
I cooked up some ground turkey last night so we could throw together some tacos when we get home, after 7. We’ll need to read with the kids. Luckily ONLY read because we did all their homework last night in advance for the week.
A kind executive gave me some really good wine for a deal I negotiated, so I have big plans to open a bold red wine when the kids go down (highly likely close to 9 pm, between basketball and being hopped up on Valentine’s candy). I know my challenge has no sugar, including alcohol, during the week, but I’m making an exception.
We’ll probably drink one glass before falling, exhausted, into bed.
I will take this night over that night 14 years ago any time I’m given the choice.
I’m so glad I have those butterflies from 14 years ago.
They got me these triplets today.
And I’m also fully aware that a decade from now we’ll have the chance to go out to high end, dimly lit restaurant on Valentine’s Day evening. We won’t, because we both agree it’s a ridiculous waste of money. Maybe I’ll cook. But the house will be empty. And we’ll only have had playoff games for Valentine’s Day for such a brief time. I’ll probably cry and wish for it all back. We won’t have Legos to set out on the table in the morning. And we won’t have little faces upturned with excitement.
So you see, I’m in love with our Valentine’s Day. And I’m praying we’ve got several more in store just like this one.