Photo by: Shutterstock


Photo by: Shutterstock

Aaaah…Valentine’s Day.

That love-fest of a day I snuggle on the couch (by myself) and watch romantic comedies, eat chocolate (I steal from my kids), and drink a glass (bottle) of wine.

And I reflect upon Valentine’s Days past…

…like the time I was dating that clown I met online.

No, seriously, like a real clown. With the makeup smile and big pants. And BALLOON ANIMALS! Actually, he did make me a cute balloon-thingy for Valentine’s Day. It was two little balloon lovebirds surrounded by a big balloon cage heart.

And NO, he did not wear the clown makeup on our dates. (Except that one time, but let’s not talk about that. Ever.)

…or the time Valentine’s Day came WAY too soon after this guy and I started dating, and I didn’t know what to do. I mean, it was only like our third date. I got him a card (a funny one, of course, no mush), then I panicked. Do I have to get him a GIFT? And if so, what do I get him?

I ended up giving him this tiny stuffed bear with candy hearts attached to it that I had actually bought for MY SON.

OMG. I’m embarrassed just thinking about it.

On the other hand, he bought me a really nice gift basket with bath stuff and lotion. Clearly, he thought I needed to smell like something called ‘Moonlight Way,’ which frankly reminded me of juniper bushes, and not in a good way.

I don’t know why I’m still single, do you? I KNOW – I AM SUCH THE CATCH!

But then I always finish the night thinking about the BEST Valentine’s Day, which was sad and sweet and scary and excellent all at the same time.

Valentine’s Day 1995: the day I first laid eyes on my children.

You see, they were born on Feb 13th, the day before V-Day. They were three and a half months premature, and I wasn’t allowed to go from my hospital (University Hospital) to the children’s hospital where the NICU was until the next day.

Of course, I was so full of morphine, I barely noticed. (Also, hooray for morphine!)

Valentine’s Day I was wheeled through a series of connecting tunnels and hallways to the Big Scary NICU, where I had to scrub my hands and arms for 10 minutes before I could even go in.

I saw these two beds with hot, bright lights over them. It sort of looked like where they keep the burgers warm at McDonald’s…you know, the metal thing with the lights? Like that.

And there were these two red, scrawny, ugly, spider-monkey-looking babies with folded down ears (!!!) and covered in tape and tubes and wires and IVs and OH! – they were beautiful and scary and pitiful and hurting painful to look at, and my heart broke and bled and loved.

Given less than 50% chance to live, they turned 18 years old yesterday.


Those are a few of my Valentine’s Day memories. Have any you would like to share?

Shannon is a single mother of teenage twins and self-employeed businesswoman by day; by night, she saves the world (from herself) using her superpower of Sleep. She gets ranty, rave-y, and reviewy on her blog, Brain Soup for the Dysfunctional Soul.

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