Yesterday was Valentine's Day. When you're married with kids, this means a very different thing than when you're dating. For me and Matt, it means watching a movie together after the kids go to bed while eating Rick's cupcakes. It also means school parties and Angry Birds valentines and drawing hearts on lunch napkins.
Until this year.
This year, we had a new experience that caught us thoroughly by surprise and gave us a glimpse of what the next 10 years hold in store for us.
Abby, Ethan and Matt have had sinus infections, so everyone was home from school and work. I was running some errands mid-afternoon when Matt sent me the following text:
Your daughter just got hand-delivered valentine candy from a boy.
And it begins.
Now, let me give you a little background. The boy is Sam, who has known Abby since they were 10 months old in day care together. Sam and Abby have always gone to school together and have always been devoted to each other. When they were in pre-school Sam was her "boyfriend". In Kindergarten, they confessed to kissing in PE, and we were quite relieved to find out it was on the cheek. Later that year, Sam proposed. They've worked out how many kids they want (4) and what they'll be named. As they've gotten older, they've cooled it with the relationship talk--at least in front of other people. They remain great friends and make a beeline for each other any time they're in the same room.
Matt and I have decided that Abby and Sam's, er, relationship is fine by us. Sam is a nice boy who is kind and generous with our daughter. Sam's parents, Heather and Richard, have become friends and seem to like Abby as well. (Heather knows I'm blogging about this) Plus, we figure as long as Sam, who is for the most part a known quantity, is around, this will keep other unknown (and possibly unfit) quantities at bay. (This is how you talk about your children when you're married to an engineer).
So if anyone's going to be bringing my daughter a present on Valentine's Day, I want it to be Sam. Still, as I watched Abby dance around the house all evening with her box of chocolates and then spend half an hour on a heart-shaped thank you note that HAS to be mailed, not hand delivered, because that's the proper way to send a thank you note according to Abby, I got a little panicked. I am not ready to watch boys woo my daughter. I'm not ready to watch her enjoy being wooed. But it's coming--in fact, it's apparently already here. A nine year old boy knocked on our door, and when it was answered by Abby's father he didn't run away. He stayed to see my daughter and give her a Valentine's Day present. Then he ran away. (Hey, he's 9. I'm sure he was equal parts proud and horrified about what he was doing).
Hey Heather, next time tell Sam that if he really wants to get in good he should bring chocolate for Abby's mom too...