My Number One(s) (Day #21)

Be My Valentine.

No question mark.  Not a question.  Even when we change the phrasing, add the tonal uptick at the end  – Will you be mine? – we aren’t really asking.  Not really. We’re pronouncing.

I choose you.

You and only you.  You are my number one.

We make this pronouncement all the time, in subtle and not-so-subtle ways.  On Valentine’s Day, we do it with flowers and chocolates and conversation hearts, with big sweeping gestures and small expensive gifts, because whether we like it or not, February 14th is a day that demands a choice.  A day that requires us to decide who matters most.

But what about all the regular Sundays and random Tuesdays?  What about the days when it’s permissible to come home empty-handed, when I Love You’s and Be Mine’s aren’t required, when our decision to work late doesn’t mean that we’re putting work first.

Or does it?

Which is a more accurate reflection of our priority list:  how we spend V-day or how we spend the other 364 days of the year?

This past week, I’ve been struggling with how to balance the three Bs.  I’ve blogged and talked and thought about how to best allocate my time between baby, book and blog.  I worry that blog is trumping book.  That baby is getting my time but not my energy.  That book needs more of me than I can give.

What about boy?

The boy.  My boy.


Where is he on the priority list?  If you believe my recent posts, he’s not on it.

But he is, of course.  He tops it.  He’s my number one.  My one and only.  My valentine.

It just took today for me to remember that.

We spent today with Lil Mil and Sister, who’s visiting for the weekend.  It was a good day.  A satisfying day.  As usual, Lil Mil got the bulk of the attention. But for the first time in too long, Husband got the bulk of my brain power.  I thought about him.  I appreciated him.  He occupied the space in my head that’s normally filled with plot points and dialogue fragments and post ideas.

It helped, of course, that Valentine’s Day fell on a Sunday this year.  My no-writing rule shortened my priority list by two.  With nothing else competing for my time, the choice was easy.  I put my family first and called it a day.

But what about tomorrow?   When the chocolates have been eaten and the flowers have begun to wilt, when Valentine’s Day and its mandate have come and gone, who – or what – will be my number one?

That’s easy:  boy and baby.

Better question:  when the chocolates have been eaten and the flowers have begun to wilt, when Valentine’s Day and its mandate have come and gone, how will I make sure that boy and baby know that they come first? Absolutely, unequivocally.  That as much time and energy as I devote to book and blog and everything else, they matter most.  That really, they’re all that matters.

I don’t have the answer.  I just know that it’s important that I ask the question.  Important that my number ones know where they stand.  That it’s my job to make sure that they do.

(To Husband and Lil Mil:  Be my valentines.  Love, me/mommy)



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