Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day on the road

I'm spending Valentine's Day surrounded by love: the love of a sister, a son, and two nieces. It's an awesome kind of love that washes over me from four different directions, not all at once, but like ocean waves that break on the shore and then recede.

But the one person that I really love, the most important person in my life, my reason for living, is 450 miles away. My son and I are on a college-tour road trip, and we're spending the three-day weekend that includes both President's Day and Valentine's Day in a city that far from home. Oh, we're having fun, I won't deny it. But ... well, Valentine's Day this year is a bust, and it's my fault.

We spent last week surrounded by love, too. My oldest son and daughter-in-law brought their six-week-old daughter out to meet us, and we had fun with them all week long. My sweet wife and I got to give them several nights of peaceful slumber that they haven't gotten since our granddaughter was born. When she cried at night, one of us would take her and pace the floor, rock her and comfort her, so that her parents could sleep. I loved it. I enjoyed the private time I got to spend with her, grandfather bonding with granddaughter and nobody else getting in the way.

But between early-morning seminary, her teaching job, my engineering job, and everything else that was going on, neither of us made any preparations for Valentine's Day apart. My youngest son and I left on Friday morning on our road trip. My oldest son took his two sweet girls back home on Saturday, leaving grandma alone at home.

Well, she's enjoying the time alone. She's getting caught up on her backlog of things to be done, and she's sleeping in and taking care of a head cold that she got from one of her students. But there's not a Valentine's Day card hidden under her pillow, or a love note inserted in the want ads, or something chocolate-y wrapped in red or pink foil, tucked into her underwear drawer. The only gift I've given her to mark this holiday is the gift of solitude.

I have no doubt that she's enjoying her gift more than she would enjoy a goofy card or (maybe) chocolate. She's a very practical person. And I recently arrived at the realization that a man's romantic gestures are often intended more to ease the man's guilt or boost his ego, than to woo the woman in the man's life. And I'm the one having fun on a road trip, so I should be happy. But I still miss her. I wish I could sit beside her and hold her hand while we watch the Olympics together or something.

1 comment:

Spec said...


I'm glad you're a good husband and love her so much.