I have a new post up on the Huffington Post Parent's Page, in which I write about why I'm still in love with my husband all these years later. But I never actually disclose what we decided to do now since we don't celebrate Valentine's Day but we do have a date night every Thursday and the two have coincided this year. So we've opted for the very romantic option of viewing Zero Dark Thirty. (Usually we don't let movies count as a date night because we can't talk to each other, but we also didn't want to end up in a prix fixe dinner situation, so we figured the time in the car will serve as our time to catch up.) I also didn't disclose that we forgot that we're supposed to make Valentine's for Penny's classmates, so instead of having a Hallmark moment over the weekend, Peter and I were furiously cutting pink hearts at our kitchen table at 9:00 last night and cursing the people who think this is a fun holiday (just kidding about the cursing part, kind of). Anyway, the actual post begins:
I remember the first time I celebrated Valentine's Day with the man who is now my husband. I was a senior at a boarding school in Connecticut. Peter and I had been together since October, and at that point, each month that rolled by warranted celebration. Valentine's Day came on the heels of our four-month anniversary, but I combined those momentous occasions into one event and convinced my faculty advisor to allow me to use her kitchen to cook dinner. I don't remember the menu, but I'm pretty sure the evening involved a white tablecloth and candlelight and that wonderful feeling, that lightness and giddiness and excitement, of finally being in love with a boy.
We stopped celebrating Valentine's Day a few years later, as both of us grew discontent with the idea that we single out one day each year to emphasize romance. We stopped celebrating our monthly anniversaries too, as months turned into years. We've been married nearly fourteen years and we have three children, so our lives are now measured by report cards and snow days and physicals for the kids. I could never have predicted some of the changes we've experienced – that we would stay together through five years of long-distance dating, or that I would marry an investment banker who would later become a teacher, or that we would have a daughter with Down syndrome and be forever transformed by her presence in our lives. The changes have surprised me, but I am equally surprised and delighted by the things that have stayed the same.