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A Letter to My Thirtysomething Valentine

Dear Thirtysomething Valentine,

On this, our 17th Valentines Day, I still love you like I did then. 

I remember our first ever Valentine’s Day, head over heels in love. Just freshman in college wrapped up in each other. I planned the perfect dress, the perfect card, hair and makeup to absolute perfection. We wined and dined at an upscale restaurant and spent the whole evening in love with our love. Ahh, 2005. 

Flash forward to this year, same valentine, very different evening. Married 10 years, 3 kids (one that’s two weeks old), jobs, responsibilities…life. We’ll spend the evening with carry-out and a couple glasses of wine. No dress, no steak, alone time TBD (because kids). But, my love, I still love you like I did then. 

I love how you’ve grown with me over these 17 years. We were just babies when our love started and we’ve changed a lot. You bend and reshape with me every step of the way. 

I love when you reminisce with me about our college years. You show me pictures and tell me how “hot” I was, but of course reassure me that I’ve still got it. You remember that girl, and you connect me to that time. 

I love the way we’ve changed our idea of the “perfect” evening. For years we stayed up to greet the sun, drinking and dancing the night away. Now, when we collapse on the couch at 9pm after a bedtime marathon, we couldn’t be more excited to share a blanket and dive into our binge watch of the moment. You’re my person, through every phase of life. 

I love seeing the man you’ve become. When I fell in love with you, it was just that, with you. I had no idea of who exactly you’d be as a thirtysomething man, a professional, a father, the leader of our family. I had no expectation or preconceived notions. Sometimes I look at you from across the room and can’t believe how blindly lucky I was. Not only is that 19 year old love still there, but there is so much more I had no idea about back then. 

I love watching you be the father of our children. You are their whole world. When you walk in the door, their little spirits just light up, and there is no better feeling in the world that watching that. They have hit the Daddy jackpot, they have no idea the values, sense of humor, and personality they’re soaking up from you daily. 

Valentine, I love you today the way I loved you 17 years ago. More deeply, in fact. It’s pretty magical how time is flying, year after year saving this date for us. There may not be a little black dress or impossibly perfect makeup, but the weight of my love for you today is SO much more than that. Take out and you, what more could this thirtysomething ask for.

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