My dear sweet husband,
Valentines day is coming.
You wrote a song once about how much you hate this day. That really Valentines should be a day off from striving to love the ones you love all year long. Love shouldn't exist within the confines of this one day.
Even though we both agree, it's kind of a silly holiday, we like that it reminds us to appreciate the ones we love. To celebrate love wherever it exists. And to applaud the courage it takes to stick to love when it moves from a feeling to a commitment.
You, sweet husband of mine, are really good at giving presents. Thank you for always trying to find something special that's just right for me.
This year though, I thought we could put aside the gift giving. I don't want the candy or flowers or fancy dinner out, even though we've never done those things.
I don't want you taking your time away from us shopping for something that you heard me say I liked six months ago because you know it would surprise me that you remembered.
I don't want you worrying about money, and trying to find the right thing that says, "I love you".
I thought I would make this easy for us, and just tell you what I want.
I want you to see me. I mean really see me.
I want you to see past the sweat pants that I wear all winter long because its too cold to wear anything else.
I want you to see past my fabulous outfit that I put on to go out.
I want you to see past the mom who is in charge of the house and lives under a check list.
I want you to see beauty in my aging, child bearing body, because those my dear are the trade offs of living a life time with someone and experiencing the joy of our children.
I want you to see beauty in the wrinkles on my face, because you caused most of the laughing ones and some of the worry ones. Those are the scars you left on me.
I don't want you to say "I think you're wonderful", I want you to tell me WHY you think I'm wonderful.
I don't want you to say "I love you" I want to know WHY you love me.
What is it about me, specifically, that makes me amazing, or cherished, or lovable by you. What sets me apart from every other woman you encounter.
In telling me WHY, you communicate that you still see me. You see my goodness and you see my pain. You see me every day, but do you notice me? Do you notice the little things?
The other day you came into the kitchen, tugged at my hand to pull me away from the counter where I was prepping food. You danced with me, right there in the middle of the kitchen. You knew I was stressed I had been in there all day, and you brought me relief. You pulled me out of my crazy place, and put me in your arms. You said nothing, we danced till the song was over and then you released me.
I felt seen in that moment.
You are good at noticing the little things and always thanking me for all I do.
This letter isn't written because you are bad at seeing me.
I write this letter because it is easy to go unnoticed behind the mom uniform, the chef's hat, the speaker's dress, the servants sweat pants, and the tired eyes. It is so easy to get lost in those things.
Your words and encouragement seep into all those tired and broken down places. When you see me, when you really see me, I feel...well, I feel like me. Bright eyed, lovable, young, in love, appreciated, cared for. I feel alive because someone sees me. I am no longer the invisible frame that moves about the house making everything work for everyone else.
So, please, I don't want a present this Valentines day.
What would mean the world to me, is if you took a moment to see me, and told me again, why you picked me.