Valentine’s Day when I was 32 was my most memorable Valentine’s Day ever. I spent it pacing halls, phenomenally uncomfortable. I did a lot of waiting. My project was going well and then lagged; I was sorely disappointed. I went about it a different way, trying to force the issue. Still no luck. I was subjected to pain that was so unbearable that I yelled, and I wasn’t much of a yeller. Then I got even more bad news; things were not going well. I cried with disappointment. I had to accept a route to my end goal that I was not happy about. My loved ones were there but there was nothing they could do. Even so, I was glad they were with me, bearing witness to my journey. At the last minute before I had to surrender to a path not wanted, I was advised to try one more time. I gave it my all. 100%. Eighteen minutes later, my second son took his first breath. He was bruised and looked battered, but he was beautiful to me. This 10 pound, overdue baby boy had been in such a wonky position that the nurses called it a miracle that he made his entrance in the delivery room instead of on the operating table.
Pain. Discomfort. Disappointment. Surrender to a path not chosen. I did it voluntarily, willing to endure whatever it took to give my baby a safe entrance to the world.
And so it goes with parenting: sometimes there is pain, discomfort, disappointment and surrender. We go through it voluntarily, willing to endure whatever it takes to give our children the best life possible. Along the way, our hearts expand into something more beautiful than we knew was possible.
I wish you the happiest of Valentine’s Day tomorrow. If you are reading this, it tells me you are dedicated enough to your child’s well-being that you have done a google search or taken a parenting class or gone to a parenting lecture or done therapy. Your heart is big and you take action for the love of your children. If you do something to show love to your people tomorrow, my hope is that you pause and show some love to your own sweet, loving heart.
Do you have any Valentine’s traditions that you love? If you share them with me today, I’ll pass them on tomorrow via my Instagram channel.