Valentine’s day, with a school-aged kid, is basically a test of patience. There is the torture of watching a younger elementary school child try to write out 25 cards, the drama and hurt feelings, the sheer mass of candy, and the logistics of trying to find a babysitter for a date night in an over-crowded restaurant (or just choosing to ignore the romantic aspects completely).
There are a million reasons to hate Valentine’s day. Expectations run high, parenting energy runs low. Restaurants are overbooked and babysitters are hard to come by. It has become a Hallmark holiday. Single people have their face rubbed in their singleness. Etc, etc, and on and on. I never really cared much one way or another. Now that I’m a mom I have found it to be another exhausting holiday and one that happens to come right on the heels of the 100th day of school. It shows up just as we have recovered from the winter holidays. And we don’t even get a day off work.
Rowan slept through the night last night. This is not a drill. I repeat — Rowan slept through the night last night. This is the first time in many, many months that he has slept all the way through. On those occasions, my body was so used to waking up 29384029348 times in the night that I did not sleep well, anyhow.
Dear Lazy Mother in the Grocery Store,
I saw you.
I heard your kid whining for popsicles. I saw you reach into the freezer and ask which type.
I was thinking I hadn’t felt all that depressed this winter. Then I realized that everyone else is also depressed so I’m only less depressed by comparison. It’s difficult to wallow in this temporary darkness when we are all engulfed in an existential muck. We are all Artax and we’re walking through the Swamp of Sadness. Even the most optimistic among us are Atreyu, at best — doomed to keep up that grim determination lest The Nothing descend upon us all.
Christmas was good. Our Puppy Surprise tree worked out wonderfully. I wanted to write a whole Christmas poem about it but I didn’t because, ya know, reasons.