It’s 10 pm on Valentine’s Day. The house is clean and quiet, and as I sit here thinking back on our day, I wonder how my husband’s day went in the restaurant. We talked once before the dinner rush started at 4 pm and I look forward to the call from him saying he’s on his way home and that the night went well.
While many holidays are difficult for me being married to a chef, Valentine’s Day is not one of them. Valentine’s Day is CRAZY BUSY in the restaurant, so the thought of going out that evening is not appealing. So if my husband was off, we would be home, choosing to celebrate on another evening. But since that will never happen (at least I hope not as that would probably mean he was unemployed), here I sit in a quiet house by myself (with 3 sleeping children).
Don’t get me wrong, I like quiet. With 3 kids, I’ve come to cherish the “quiet” times during the day as they are few and far between. This really is the first quiet moment of the day.
My husband was able to be home this morning when the girls got up and spend a few minutes with them before he headed off to work. For us, the day was full of school valentine parties, swim lessons and eating entirely too much cheese fondue and desserts dipped in our mini chocolate fountain.
But while today was an easy “holiday” for me, I know that it is not for many. It only takes a few glances at my Facebook newsfeed to see the happiness of some friends and loneliness of others. Many were celebrating with their loved ones, while others were grieving over the loss of a loved one or were saddened by the distance that separated them from the one they so deeply desired to share Valentine’s Day with.
I will admit it’s easy to be jealous of all the people sitting in the restaurant right now, enjoying the food prepared by my husband and his amazing crew. How nice it would be to get a babysitter, get dressed up and enjoy a night out having someone else prepare the food and clean up!
Yes it would be nice.
But think about it this way, my husband and his crew are working like crazy to provide what I just described for their guests. They are allowing people to get a babysitter, get dressed up and enjoy a night out having someone else prepare the food and clean up. People are enjoying a quiet dinner with someone they care about. (And probably thinking, “Man I wish I could eat like this every night!”)
So while we might not be the ones enjoying the food and atmosphere of the restaurant, others are.
Maybe it’s a friend who got engaged outside the restaurant 14 years ago, but has never been there until tonight.
Maybe it’s a new mom who is completely exhausted from getting up 5 times a night with her newborn and was surprised tonight by her husband who took her out to dinner.
Maybe it’s someone celebrating being “cancer free” for 1 year!
Maybe it’s a father and daughter trying to celebrate this Valentine’s Day together for the first time without their wife and mother.
Maybe it’s my daughter’s 19 year old swim teacher and his date, enjoying a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner that he saved months to pay for.
Whatever the case may be, my husband and his crew are making that possible. So while it might not be my time, it’s theirs. Not everything is about me. GASP!!
In our morning devotions with our girls, we have been going through a book called The ABC’s for Godly Girls. Today’s letter was “L” for Love. The key verses were John 13:34-35. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
The girls and I spent some time talking about this and shared some practical ways we could show God’s love to others during our day today. The focus should not be on us and how we can be loved, but how we can love others as Christ has loved us. It’s not all about us. Everything does not revolve around us. (Anyone else have trouble convincing their kids (and sometimes themselves) of this? I do!!)
I don’t say this to try to minimize how hard this day is for many people, but just want to give a different perspective. . . something to think about.
Today might not be my day – the day I get to hire a babysitter, get dressed up and enjoy a night out having someone else prepare the food and clean up. It might not be the night I am able to enjoy a quiet dinner with my husband. Today might not be my day because I’m married to a chef. But another day might be . . . say next Saturday around 5 pm.
So I look forward to the time away with my husband and with someone else cooking and cleaning up. And while I might not say, “Man, I wish I could eat like this every night,” because I am married to a chef and am spoiled, I might look at the crew in the kitchen and the front of house staff a bit differently, knowing that they are giving up something to be there to provide this night for us. (And yes, I know it’s a job and they get paid and the restaurant makes money. But you never know what a chef, manager, server, dishwasher, etc., are missing out on at home to be there, working hard to provide for themselves and their family. People in this industry work the hours when many other people are off (but you already know that.)
So Happy Valentine’s Day! Whatever your day looked like today, remember you are not alone and I hope you can look forward to the time you do get to celebrate after the busy weekend is over!