Monday, February 16, 2015

hearts.

I used to hate Valentine's Day. I had all kinds of reasons to despise the Hallmark holiday and its harpy expectations. I'd been barfed on, smothered, forgotten, and ditched on Valentine's Days prior to meeting Matt, so there were no expectations our first February together. I just asked that we would do something unrelated to the holiday. Thus began our tradition of eating at Hardees. After all, true love is a man and a mushroom swiss burger.

But these children have softened my heart to the holiday. I have birthed three babies in the month of February and now celebrate my love for them each year. I help Jasper design his mailbox for school that receives little candies and notes from his friends. I buy strawberries for the class party and cut them into hearts. I make cookies and frost them red or pink. Okay, I bake break 'n' bakes that come with the necessary supplies…but I wear an apron while I do it. You get the point. I'm suddenly smitten with February, but remain the Queen of Shortcuts.

This year we threw a birthday party for all three kids on Valentine's Day. Matt wondered if people might have conflicts the afternoon of Valentine's Day. I reminded him that we're probably not friends with people who "make a day of it". But here we are - making a day of it.

My babies were all born in the afternoon. In birth order. So there were three cakes cut and three songs sung. Jasper blew out all six candles.

Green lips!
Four pieces later he had regrets.
12:58pm.

Jasper came into my life like a freight train. He changed everything and he'll always be my first, my boy. I understand my dad's love for me - his first, his girl - through my love for Jasper. There's nothing like it.

Except, maybe, neon green frosting on a Ninja Turtle cake complete with a Splinter action figure. I know. We're the coolest parents ever.

1:51pm.

Solveig was such a unique birth. She arrived quickly and it was so thrilling - but it was only half over! While I held her on my chest, I prayed that Tove wouldn't spin into a breach position. We had 11 minutes with just our laid back Solveig. I watched her apgar test and talked to Matt while he held her with such pride. Once discharged from the hospital, we had 5 nights with just Solveig until Tove joined us at home. She began a trail blazer, but T would say she's also a really loyal buddy.

I hope they recreate this photo
on their 21st birthday.
2:02pm.

Tove arrived with something to prove. She was fierce grit and trouble from the start. I will never forget the way Matt's hands wrapped around her little body, propping her up with determination at each feeding. She was the better nurser of the two, but he was better at getting her through a bottle. Her dimples are her saving grace and she already knows it.

It was good to be with our family and wide village - our gracious guides through this big year. It was good to sing that song three times over. It was good to cut out paper hearts with little kids and it was good to watch them run to their parents with pride and homemade love.

Later that night, once the kids were all in bed, Matt went out for groceries and came back with some chili cheese fries from Hardees. We ate them in the quiet of our living room, hearts and bellies filled.

Happy Valentine's Day.

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