Once upon a time there was a young couple, madly in love. They would hold hands constantly and gaze into each others eyes adoringly. They had all the time in the world for each other, dined in restaurants most evenings and would often go on spontaneous romantic outings. On Valentine’s Day he would surprise her with dozens of roses, romantic dinner cruises and boxes full of helium heart balloons….
Then they got married and had children.
And they no longer knew if it was Valentine’s Day or not because, quite frankly, in the chaos of family life they felt lucky enough just to have got themselves dressed and out of the house each day. On the 14th of February the smell of roses in the house was replaced by the smell of recently changed pooey nappies. She herself no longer smelled of Chanel perfume but of regurgitated baby food. And, while once she used to buy beautiful lingerie for such occasions, nowadays she felt like she had won the lottery if she found a matching pair of underwear in her drawers.
They did try very hard to go on “date nights” but, when they actually managed it, they would either end up talking about the kids the whole time or calling the baby sitter to check everything was ok. They still watched movies curled up together on the sofa but, inevitably, one (or both!) of them wouldn’t usually be able to keep their eyes open much past the credits.
the sound of laughter and giggles filled their home daily. Pinned to the fridge was a Valentine’s card their eldest son had recently made for them with squiggly hearts and trucks. Their ‘night-time cuddle’ now often involved two toddlers and included lots of tickling and silliness.
Things were different, but different in a very lovely way.
Watching how wonderful her husband was with their children made her heart swell with pride. And he, in turn, marvelled at the way she was so loving and caring with them. Bringing these two little ones into their lives had certainly not always been an easy ride for them but their trust and respect for each other had reached a new level and had firmly rooted their love for one another. They didn’t need Valentine’s day to show each other how much they cared, it was plain to see every single day.
Real love is not based on romance, candle-lit dinners and walks along the beach.
In fact, it is based on respect, compromise, care and trust. (Author unknown)
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