I know Valentine’s Day is one of those special (but not quite a holiday) days that gets mixed reactions from people. You love it, you hate it, you’re completely ambivalent about it. Maybe you expect nothing, maybe you expect everything. It’s not simply a love/hate holiday. I know. I’ve had mixed feelings about it myself.
Generally speaking, though, I’ve liked Valentine’s Day more often than hated it. An excuse to bake is an excuse to bake.
But then, two years ago, something happened to make Valentine’s Day more than just an annoying commercial holiday, more than a saint’s day blown out of proportion, more than just an excuse to bake.
It was the day we were celebrating when I took the pregnancy test that told us that we were expecting a baby.
It was not on the 14th. We celebrated on the 11th (a Friday) because Geordie had to leave on Sunday to go back to work. He would not be at home on the 14th. For all intents and purposes, he lived with me, but because his assignment was in Hitachi (a three-hour train ride from Moriya), he spent the week there. The 11th had been a day off for him, so he’d come home on Thursday, and we celebrated Valentine’s Day early. I had prepared a romantic three-course fondue meal.
And I had an unused pregnancy test that we had bought a week earlier that I was too scared to use.
I hadn’t even missed my period before I thought I might be pregnant. I felt different. My body felt different. I knew something was up, and it terrified me. After all, we weren’t married, weren’t hoping for a baby. Had been trying not to have one. At that point, I still wasn’t sure if I ever wanted to have children. I was terrified of becoming a mother, and I worried that Geordie would be mad at me and think I had done it on purpose when the reality was anything but that.
I would have taken the blame though. I had been the one so eager and ready to accept that my ovulation period was over. Had I known my cycle was going on longer than they usually do, I would have been more prudent.
But that’s the past. Even by the time I finally took that pregnancy test, it was the past. And when I did take it, Valentine’s Day ceased to matter. Those first few days – that first weekend – we were just in shock. By the end of it, by the time Geordie had to leave to go back to Hitachi, I knew one thing for certain: I had been very fortunate to fall in love with the man I fell in love with.
There were no fighting, no arguments, no fingers pointed in blame – from either side. As that weekend came to an end, we were still scared and shocked, but we knew that we were in it together. And nearly nine months later, when we were staring down at our silent, sleeping daughter, that was still true. More true than ever before.
Here is what Valentine’s Day means to me: it’s the day we became a family. It’s the day that we discovered that we had been given something we hadn’t been prepared for but ultimately came to love and cherish. Something that belonged to the both of us. As we sat on that couch – the remnants of our chocolate fondue congealing in its pot – Geordie held me while I cried, and I knew that I could never love anyone more than I loved him. And though I was scared, I knew that I would love the baby too, because it was part of us, part of our love, part of our lives.
That’s why it doesn’t matter to me what anyone else thinks of Valentine’s Day – love it, hate it, I don’t care. For me, it’s a day that will always carry meaning. It’s a day that always deserves a little recognition because of the way it changed our lives forever. When I think of Valentine’s Day, I think of Geordie and how much I love him, and I think of Lauren and how much we love her.
How could this day be anything less than amazing?