Over the ten years that we’ve known each other, Valentine’s Day has evolved for my husband and I.
The first few years, when we were dating, Valentine’s Day meant eating dinner at a very expensive restaurant with a prix fixe menu and then heading out for a nightcap. Once we got married, we celebrated Valentine’s Day at home wearing our pajamas and eating takeout. Valentine’s Day changed forever for us in 2010. I was 38 weeks pregnant and my water broke as I was folding laundry. We had plans to order Chinese food for dinner but headed to the hospital instead. Our daughter was born the next day. Now, our Valentine’s Day date consists of us eating a quick dinner and then going to Toys ‘R Us for last minute birthday presents, and to Party City for balloons and streamers to decorate the house for her birthday. Not the most romantic outing.
We don’t mind. We know that the meaning of Valentine’s Day for us is more than just the day; it is a chance to spend some time together and reflect on our love, and, at this point in our life, our love revolves around our kids and our family life. We like spending Valentine’s Day surrounded by the beautiful family we made together.
But, there is value in spending time as a couple. Even though we see each other every day and sleep in the same bed every night, it is still important to take time for our own relationship. That’s why, on our five year anniversary, we decided to leave the kids behind and take a vacation.
Our destination? Aruba
Aruba is an amazing (and easy) vacation spot. The weather is perfect; I think it rains less than 10 days a year. It has beautiful white sand beaches, warm, clear ocean water and excellent restaurants. Best of all, there are direct flights from many airports in the U.S. From Boston, where we live, it only takes about five hours to get there.
We had a magical five days.
We relaxed by the pool and swam in the ocean. We ate when we were hungry and ordered drinks in the middle of the afternoon. We read books. We ate dinner at fancy restaurants and walked on the beach at night. We people watched.
But, most importantly, we reconnected. We easily slipped back into our pre-kids relationship and remembered what it was about each other that we loved. We listened to music and kissed in public and held hands in the taxi.
When we got back from our trip, we framed our plane tickets. They hang in our bedroom, and serve as a daily reminder of the wonderful time we had. While we’d love to go to Aruba every year, we realize that is not practical (or necessary). Even if it is just for one night, reserving some time for as a couple is essential.