Valentine’s Day. Just another day to promote materialism, support the restaurant industry, and boost greeting card company earnings, right? It could be, but we can make it more.

As my husband and I raised five kids (which, due to timing of said kids, spanned 20 years for just the exhilarating, tiring, and chaotic preschool years) our marriage was often put on the back burner. A peck on the cheek as he headed off to work with relief in his eyes that he wasn’t the one staying behind, and holding hands in the car while we ignored the hubbub in the back seats were our collective romantic moments. When Valentine’s Day rolled around, I didn’t feel the need—or have the energy—to accommodate one more thing on my gotta-get-it-done list.

In the midst of this season of our marriage, my husband and I jointly decided for him to choose to work a different job as a railroader that required significantly less travel as we dealt with some challenging issues with one of our sons. It would be a major financial sacrifice. Our one income family took a significant pay cut.

With the entertainment section of the budget virtually gone, I often walked the halls of our local mall during the cold winter months for moments of “getting out of the house alone” time. I had my favorite stores I would loop through—often checking the final clearance sections tucked away in the back of the stores.

On one such loop, I discovered a white ceramic pitcher with a floral design. I oohed and aahed over it…and moved on. The price wasn’t in the budget for a non-essential item.

I checked on the pitcher every time I was at the mall, seeing if the management had dropped the price within my reach, dreaming of the possibility of owning it.

And then, one day on my loop through the store, I discovered the pitcher was gone. Someone had bought it. I had watched the price drop for months but had waited too long. It felt like another dream lost in a season when too many dreams were on hold.

A few weeks later, in the midst of diapers, laundry, carpools, sports practices, grocery shopping and meals, I had, as usual, forgotten the date. But my husband didn’t. It was our engagement anniversary, February 10th. The doorbell rang. It was our local florist delivering a bouquet of fresh flowers, arranged in the white ceramic floral pitcher I had admired for months. I screamed in surprise and excitement—and ran upstairs and woke my sleeping railroad man with a hug and a kiss. He confessed to taking note of the pitcher one time he and I were walking at the mall together and went back for it.

I had forgotten in the midst of my drudgery of sacrifice the excitement of romance. But my man didn’t forget.

Sometimes you need reminders of romance. May this Valentine’s Day be your reminder to set aside the to-do lists and pause for some romance for your marriage. We sacrifice many things as moms. Don’t sacrifice romance. Make it more today.

Sandy McKeown

Author Sandy McKeown

Sandy McKeown and her husband are the parents of five children, three with extra challenges. Sandy uses life experience combined with powerful insight and creative humor to convey true hope to all audiences. You can contact her at sandymckeown.com.

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