Just coping on Valentines Day, BUT I wouldn’t have it any other way.

A heart divided or just bigger

A heart divided or just bigger?

Valentine’s Day, like most holidays changes drastically as one gets older. In elementary school it was all about making those little card holders and getting cards from every person in the class while trying to see how many cinnamon hearts you could stand to have in your mouth at one time. In high school it was all about first or unrequited love, red roses and disappointments and that one overly affectionate couple everyone gave a wide berth to.

Then I got older and fell in and out of love a few times before I found the one who I will call my Valentine for the rest of my life. And I thought that it would stop there, but it didn’t. Because every mom knows that when you have a child, your heart isn’t divided further; it just grows a little bigger.

It was different this year, but more filled with love than ever

But last year, for my son’s first Valentine’s Day, I didn’t really get a chance to show him how much I love him, in all of those fun Valentine’s Day ways. I didn’t dress him in red and white and take a million pictures of him, or get him a teddy bear the size of a car, and yet our Valentine’s Day was filled with more love than any other I had ever celebrated before.

Just coping on Valentines Day

Last year, two days before Valentine’s Day, my husband had neurosurgery. It had been a process that had begun even before we knew I was pregnant.  So when the date was finally scheduled, my husband and I made promises to celebrate at a later date and focus on getting through the surgery. I was in coping mode. I hadn’t yet adjusted to being a mom yet, and here I was with a six week old baby and my husband almost as dependent in his hospital bed. My in-laws were there too, taking turns sitting with us and walking their grandson through the halls.

He went to get diapers and…

Unexpectedly, my father-in-law handed my husband a bag and he in turn handed it to me. Inside was a box of chocolates and a card that he must have picked up when we went to get diapers the night before. I’d assumed he was buying them for my mother-in-law. I’m not sure if he will ever know how touched I was.

So much love in that stuffy hospital room

And really, while I would much rather have been making heart shaped pancakes and nearly breaking my teeth on conversation hearts, I don’t know if I will ever be able to show my son quite as well just what love really is on Valentine’s Day.

It’s not about where you are, or what you give.

It’s about the people you care about and letting them know just how special they are to you.  While my son won’t remember it, there was so much love in that stuffy little hospital room that I don’t know how it contained it all. And while I pray I never have to experience anything like that again, I wouldn’t trade it away for anything.

Bring on the heart-shaped pancakes

This year I plan on doing some of those little things we missed out on last year, after all, we have a lot to celebrate. My husband has been seizure free since his surgery. So bring on the heart shaped pancakes, the cinnamon hearts.

Any day that’s an excuse to celebrate love as a family is a good one in my books.

Do you have a story to tell about a Valentines Day that didn’t turn out as you expected? We’d love to hear about it!

Amber is a new mom to a boy born in December 2012. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario with her husband who is a self proclaimed geek and she knows more about Dungeons and Dragons than she would like to admit. In her spare moments she used to love to bake, read and take long baths. Now she is happy to get a five minute shower and take a nap. Please don’t take her too seriously because she sure doesn’t. 


  1. 1

    Amber, I love reading your posts! We had a Valentine’s hospital experience as well that really makes you realize your love for someone. Our daughter was diagnosed with a heart condition shortly after birth and had to have surgery at 2 months old. 9 months post surgery on Valentines Day we brought her in for one of her check ups where she had to be sedated to do a bunch of tests. Later on that day we got the fantastic news that our baby’s heart was almost back to normal. No greater feeling in the world than finding that out and getting news about a heart on Valentine’s Day was just icing on the cake.
    Wishing you all the best in your journey of mother hood and that all is well with your husband.
    Looking forward to many more posts!

    • 2

      Thank you so much! I’m so happy to hear everything has worked out for your daughter. I can’t imagine how stressful that would be. Here’s to many more very happy Valentine’s Days.

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