Cupid Doesn't Really Look Like A Baby
Don't make a classic dad-stake, which is like a mistake, but made by dads.
Don't do it, guys. Seriously. Don't do it.
I can see you out there (in a manner of speaking) and it looks like you're about to make a classic dad-stake, which is like a mistake, but made by dads. That is, you dudes.
Valentine's Day is coming up this Saturday, Feb. 14 and I know what you're thinking. You with the Spawn of Your Loins home with you and your Blushing Bride out there working hard. You see the kid. You see the spouse. You see Feb. 14 on the calendar, the square all filled in with red hearts. You see all these things and you put it together, but don't.
In this case, 2 + 2 = 5.
Valentine's Day is for the kind of love that exists between lovers, not between parents and children. Not between uncles and nephews or nieces. That's a familial love, and it's certainly not what Valentine's Day is all about. Over the years, millions of elementary school classrooms have tried to make this change, have tried to spread the Lovers' Love out into a more democratized love, for that of your fellow human, but it's not. It isn't. And you shouldn't buy into it.
Valentine's Day is for the kind of red-hot love that caused you to fall for your significant other in the first place. The kind of love that makes your heart beat so fast it feels like it's going to break out of your chest and fly away like a bat out of hell. (Another old person joke about Meatloaf. Deal.) The kind of love that makes you sweat just from thinking about the last time your hands touched. The kind of love that steams up car windows no matter the temperature outside.
That kind of love.
Not the kind of love that comes with dirty diapers or puke rags or anything like that. No, we (especially we) celebrate that kind of love 364 other days during the year. We need to celebrate this day and set it aside as special for lovers.
I understand. It's all too easy to get caught up in the day to day. To be consumed by the rushing about and finishing errands, buying groceries, juggling mothers'-morning-out programs without grinding your teeth because byFSM you're a parent also and you need a few hours break too, cooking meals, cleaning house, washing clothes. It's easy to be consumed by the thought of all the work needed to be done for the meeting next week, by the idea that Bob from Accounting is gunning for your job, by the report that's due tomorrow.
We all too easily slip into the comfortable, the familiar. The working spouse comes home and complains about the day just ended. We do the same, illustrating our complaints with frequent dark glances at the dirt-magnet smiling up out of the food-encrusted high chair. It's too easy to sit down, eat, put the Spawn away and then simply sit on the couch until time for bed.
But, guys, that's not why you got married. You didn't get married because you wanted to sit on the couch and watch TV every night. You got married because the thought of spending any more time than necessary out of the company of your beloved was pure torture, and that definitely included horror at the thought of never putting bare skin next to bare skin.
And, yet, over time, we let that passion fade. The fire banks and burns low.
And we're complicit when we start going out and buying Valentine's Day cards for your Spawn to give to your spouse. It's not about the Spawn.
It's about you and your spouse. About heated glances over the dinner table, where the tension is so thick it feels like you can't breathe. About the thought that, if you feel the softness of those palms as you're passed the salt, you might throw the dinner table over and do something inappropriate on the diniring room floor and that sounds like just the right idea. . .
Chocolate is a mighty poor substitute for that kind of heat and need.
It might take some work, but you need to do something to keep that spark going. Find a babysitter and ditch the Spawn for the night. Get dressed up and go to a seductive restaurant. Make sure you stay out only long enough for the babysitter to put the Spawn down, then get home, kick the babysitter to the curb and lock yourselves in your bedroom for the night. The day after is Sunday, a day of rest. (Of sorts. Because Spawn don't understand sleeping in, but that's dealable.)
For this night, forget about the Spawn.
Focus on your spouse.
Bring back the heat because, dude, it is time to burn.