I’m driving to school in my clunky-but-paid-for minivan, wondering if anyone else can see the tiny, pink hearts floating above my head cartoon-style.
Running through my mental Valentine’s Day To Do List:
Valentines and teachers’ gifts in backpacks? Check!
Valentine’s Day-themed food and chocolate for dinner? Check!
Heart so full of gratitude it’s squishing out of my eyes in heart-shaped tears? Check!
It’s hard to believe I’m the same girl who used to dread February 14th.
I’m the girl who really was Sweet Sixteen and Never Been Kissed, which people try to make sound cute, but feels more like pathetic when you’re the one who’s “Never Been.”
I knew my name wasn’t going to be called over the school intercom system to “come pick up my delivery in the main office” on Valentine’s Day, but every year I’d strain my ears to listen, just in case my secret admirer had come through for me just once.
That was then.
Now I’m living the dream.
I won’t be dressing up in high heels for an expensive night on the town with dinner at a fancy restaurant. I don’t need a blue Tiffany’s box or a dozen red roses or a trip to some exotic locale that requires a passport. Those are all fun and nice and have their place…..
But tonight my place is sitting with my Valentines around our dining room table eating heart-shaped pasta from World Market. I’ll have my favorite fuzzy slippers on which are much more comfortable than heels. Maybe we’ll watch America’s Funniest Home Videos or Wipeout together and then we’ll read another chapter of The Dawn Treader and the Jesus Storybook Bible. I love our nighttime traditions. Later I’ll go to sleep in my own bed with my own pillow snuggled up to the man who I still can’t believe chose me to be his Valentine every year for the rest of our years.
It’s not always hearts and happiness and light. In fact, just this morning, in the middle of my blissful thoughts of “Ain’t life good?” I remembered how very “not good” life can be. I’ve lost people I loved before. There’s no guarantee it won’t happen again. What if? What would I do?
But just then the Valentine Who has always been mine and Who never leaves whispered, “There is no love in fear. Perfect love drives out fear…..And My love for you is absolutely perfect.”
I take a deep breath and let that love wash over me again and realize I really am living the dream.
Yep. I’m the princess in my own happy ever-after fairy tale….
….Where every day is Valentine’s Day.