Until I met my husband, I never had a Valentine. There was something about that day that made boyfriends break up with me. Usually on February 13.
So Valentine’s Day makes me nervous. Because I never got over the idea of it. I want there to be vats of flowers—not the icky dry ones that you get on Vday, but gorgeous blossoms coaxed from seed by my one true love. I want a white steed with a ribbon harness led to my door. By someone wearing a cape. I want “I Love You” to be etched across the sky in clouds. Real clouds. And I don’t think that’s too much.
Consequently, Valentine's Day makes my husband very, very nervous. Because he thinks “Love, Brad” across the bottom of a pink card ought to be plenty.
In civilian life, he would be right. But when you live in Sparta all the time, you learn that the words I Love You -- while still the three most beautiful words in the English language -- lose their power over time. Brad thinks that Spartans learn to say I Love You by saying I See You.
I see how you took our kids to the space museum when it would have been so much easier to watch TV.
I see how hard you are working when your email date says 4:42 a.m.
I see how you keep reading that textbook when it would bore me to tears.
I see the tender way you speak to our children, how firm you hold the line, how much you do to keep our life together so that I have something wonderful to come home to.
I see you. I see you. I see you. These are the words that keep people together in a society in which so much of our effort, so much of our worth, is unseen. These are words when scrawled across a card or typed into an email get read and reread and saved forever. I See You. That is the kind of Valentine that makes any other pale in comparison.