It occurred to me as I was blow drying my hair after my shower that romance takes on a different meaning once you're married - for some of us that is.
My dear husband and I met in 1995 but didn't actually start dating until 1996. We were young, naieve, and in love. Then I truly believed that the handpicked flowers he'd bring to our front door for me was truly the most romantic thing he could ever do for me.
When he proposed to me, it was with a pearl ring. The pearl in the ring had come from an oyster he had purchased for me on our first date - we had gone to Sea World. I believed this was the second most romantic thing he had ever done.
Both of these truly romantic things pale in comparison to the truly romantic things he does for me now.
Like washing the dishes while I'm bathing a kid or nursing the baby.
Building a fire in the wood stove, so that our family is warm.
Making sure I'm equally covered at night (seriously! I woke up to him tucking extra blankets around me on an especially cold night!)
Changing a diaper.
Cooking dinner together.
Getting up with the kids so that I can sleep in, especially if I'd had a long day previous.
Bringing home a bag of chicken feed, so I don't have to make a special trip to get some.
When he surprised me with a new blow dryer, because mine had blown up! (hence my blog about romance!)
I used to believe the most romantic words were "I love you". That was before childbirth, before gall bladder surgery, and before 2 c-sections.
I heard the most romantic words ever while giving birth to our first born. "I'd trade places with you if I could."
He'd trade places with me! To spare me of pain or discomfort! There is nothing more romantic than that!
I heard those words again, "I'd trade places with you if I could" when our second child was 7 weeks old and I was going for gall bladder surgery. I had been crying and told my nurse that I just wanted to go home and hold my babies.
I heard those words again, when our 3rd child was being born and again 2 yrs later when our 4th was born.
In 2007, when our 5th child was coming into this world via c-section due to complications, my husband squeezed my hand, and through his tears said he wished he could trade places with me.
Most recently, when Squeakers came into this world via re-peat c-section, I heard those same words again, "I would trade places with you. I wish it was me instead of you."
The words are not said lightly, I know he means them from the bottom of his heart. I know, because it is exactly how I felt when he was going in for his back surgery. I would have traded places with him.
I find it amazing that two people can find eachother and love each other this much.
This is romance. Not chocolates, jewelry, flowers - none of that is romantic when put into perspective of what I know now.