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valentine's day

I Didn’t Get Chocolates for Valentine’s Day, But I Got This Instead

Valentines day hearts on wooden background

Very recently, my husband had to spend an entire day taking care of me and our children as I recovered from a horrible stomach bug. My kids got the virus first in rapid succession and fortunately recovered within 12 hours each time. I, on the other hand, was left incapacitated for an entire 24-hour period, during which time I was confined to either my bed or the bathroom floor. Picking up my twin 2-year-olds and changing their diapers was out of the question, as was fixing my 5-year-old lunch, helping him with his puzzles, or doing any of the other things I’d normally do.

Thankfully, my husband was truly amazing that day, tending to the kids while checking on me and fetching me extra wastebasket bags as needed. In fact, I was just about to officially bestow the World’s Best Husband title upon him until Valentine’s Day rolled around, and I found myself getting caught up in a mild case of the envies.

The morning of Valentine’s Day, I was with some fellow moms at my son’s preschool when they started talking about the things their husbands had gotten them to mark the occasion. Flowers. Jewelry. Various gifts. And the only ones I got jealous of were the chocolates.

Anyone who knows me well is fully aware that the key to my heart is through dessert. And man do I like me some Valentine’s Day chocolate. I mean, not the gross, orange liqueur-filled stuff, but the good stuff—rich caramels, decadent truffles, and the like.

I love chocolate so much that I sometimes eat it for dinner. Sometimes. And so when I heard that one friend’s husband had gotten her a huge box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day, I couldn’t help but covet those tasty treats and wish my husband had gotten some for me as well.

Now to be fair, my husband and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. We think it’s cheesy and annoying, and so there’s no expectation of gifts whatsoever. Still, some chocolates would’ve been nice. Sinful, delicious chocolates. The fancy stuff I’d never buy myself.

But then I thought about it and realized that what my husband gave me the other day was way better than elaborate chocolate. He gave me an opportunity to rest and recover when my body needed a break. He gave me peace of mind knowing my children were well taken care of. He gave me sympathy, which can be a little hard to get out of him, but he knew when to deliver. He pressed cool compresses against my head and checked me for fever when I felt warm. And he brought me tea and toast when chocolate was the last thing my stomach could’ve handled.

I’m OK with the fact that I didn’t get chocolates for Valentine’s Day. I don’t need token gifts to know that my husband is thinking of me; what I really need is to know that I can count on him to step up when it’s necessary, and he’s already proven himself in that regard. As long as he keeps coming through for me when it matters most, I’ll be perfectly content munching away on boring old Kit Kats and M&Ms.

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