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To my husband on Valentine's Day
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Like most things in my life, Valentines Day has become all about the kids. But while Im running around in this jam-packed, child-raising time of our lives, I just want you to know: I see you. - photo by Erin Stewart
To my husband on Valentines Day:

Like most things in my life, Valentines Day has become all about the kids. Youve probably noticed all the shards of pink paper on the floor the last few days as we cut out hearts to prepare for class parties. What can I say? We have two girls who love pink, hearts and everything Valentines Day-related, so its no wonder this once romantic, couples-only holiday has become yet another kid-centered hoopla in our house.

So I wanted to take a moment and tell you that even though I am caught up in the whirlwind of raising our two daughters (and throwing Valentines Day tea parties), you are still my Valentine.

I know you get lost in the shuffle sometimes between trying to do well at your job, being a great dad and finding time to be an amazing husband. Life seems to always be about our children, never about us. Never about you.

But while Im running around in this jam-packed, child-raising time of our lives, I just want you to know: I see you.

I see you getting up early to go to work and always getting dressed in the dark so you dont wake me. I see you cleaning up at the end of the day when Im too tired. I notice you reading and wrestling with the kids after dinner. I watch as you teach our daughters every day how they should be treated.

I see how you leave your job stress at our doorstep so youre all smiles and hugs and rolling on the floor. I see you pretending to have energy you dont and patience you shouldnt.

I realize that you dont say anything when the house is a mess or I am a mess or theres nothing for dinner yet. You roll up your sleeves and help because thats just what you do.

So even though Im distracted doing my mommy thing, I see you.

And I know I dont say it nearly enough, but I couldnt do any of it without you.

When you walk through the door, I breathe a sigh of relief, and not just because you help shoulder the daily burdens. I sigh because your presence at the end of the day allows me to breathe. I can relax. You are here. Everything will be OK.

So while Im cutting out Valentines Day cards and baking a thousand sugar cookies for the tea party this week, know that you are the one who holds my heart. We might not be as romantic as we were in our pre-baby days, but its still you and me (even if a hot date now means binge-watching Netflix and busting out the good snacks).

Someday, when these child-rearing years are behind us, it will be us again. Just you and me, the way it was before (plus a few more wrinkles, pounds and stories).

The chaos of now will be quiet, but you will still be my breath. Constant, steady and seemingly unnoticed but impossible to live without.
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