The other day while grocery shopping with Selah, I moseyed over to the Valentine card section to see if I could find something for the hubby. I expected to pick up three or four cards, then find one that was the right fit and get on with my shopping. But after picking up what must have been every "Husband" Valentine card on the aisle, I got frustrated and walked away empty-handed. The problem was that none of the cards sounded like us. "Well, I'm a writer," I thought to myself. "I'll just write my own thing."
What none of the cards said was that although I love you, I don't always like you. (And I know you feel the same about me.) You don't always understand me and sometimes you're insensitive to my needs. You can bring my mood from cloud nine to ground zero with one swift, harsh word. But the reason your words have that power is because you're the King of my heart.
You're my everything, my one and only, my co-builder in this life. Together we keep this family upright and moving forward. Without you, there'd be no money in the bank, no properly running vehicles, and far less giggles coming from the girls' bedrooms.
What I wanted the card to say was that sometimes marriage isn't butterflies and passionate kisses. Sometimes it's butt-to-butt sleeping and letting the sun go down on your anger. And then it's missing you like crazy when you're on a 24-hour shift. And counting down the minutes 'til the rocks rumble in the driveway and Barnaby barks and I know you're home.
In the last seven and a half years, what I've realized more than anything is what I've known all along. Love isn't a feeling; it's a commitment. What I love about our love is that it's not going anywhere. It's good being able to trust that when you drive away -- no matter what hangs in the air -- you're going to come back. We're your home. We're your life. And you're ours.
What my card would have said was that I know I'm imperfect too. No matter how much I condemn the bossy, nagging wife in my brain, she still forces her way out and pushes you away. I'm sorry. What I need you to know is that I do respect you, as a husband, as a father, and as a man. And that I'm going to keep working every day to prove it.
What I wanted a card to say was that true love isn't proven by fancy dinners, fine diamonds, or hot and saucy romance. It's proven by time. Plain and simple. We're not yet celebrating a milestone anniversary, but we're ever so surely edging our way forward. Together. We're still laughing in the kitchen. We're still learning and saying "I'm sorry." And we're still going to sleep in the same bed. We may not always fall asleep in each other's embrace, but we're there. We show up. Because that's what real love does.
And that's why I can say, more than ever, that I love you, babe. I'm so glad I know that you'll always be mine.
And that you'll always be the King of my heart.