No, really. I can’t. Not loving Mr. Big(Ideas) would be a really big deal, considering the four tiny children and my REALLY needing his extra set of hands around here.
Anyway, in honor of Valentine’s Day, I have been spending some time thinking about the amazing, lovely, kind, generous man I married — and how to stay happily married to him until, at the very least, our kids are all grown up and moved out.
Which has led me to decide to start a new tradition of making VALENTINE’S DAY RELATIONSHIP RESOLUTIONS, to join the pantheon of CHECKLIST MOMMY RESOLUTION occasions I’ve already created around here (which include NEW YEAR’S FAMILY RESOLUTIONS, a list we make each January and that I post in the master bathroom where Mr. Big(Ideas) and I are forced to face them daily; and ROSH HASHANAH RESOLUTIONS, which our family makes on the beach each fall, when our congregation marks the Jewish New Year tradition of tashclich by tossing sins and regrets into the sea. The Checklist Family puts our own spin on that, by consigning personal shortcomings or things we wish to change about ourselves to the water — last year, at my suggestion, Diddy threw her fear into the ocean, and since then she’s a beast on the bars at gymnastics, and in the pool at the Y. Yes I am proud of myself for thinking THAT one up!)
So yeah, I’m a big fan of making resolutions. Here’s what I’ve come up with — drum roll please, as I present Checklist Mommy’s Inaugural Annual Valentine’s Day Relationship Resolutions. (There’s only two of them, so don’t worry, this won’t take too long.)
- FIRST OFF: I RESOLVE TO BE MORE GRATEFUL / REMIND MYSELF WHY I LOVE HIM, DAILY — as in: you know those people who keep gratitude journals, where they list three things that happened over the course of their day that made them feel grateful? Tonight I tried that with my girls over dinner, mostly to keep them from torturing each other, and it worked great — I got to hear all about the cool stuff they’d done in their swim lessons and at school. It worked so well, Mr. Big(Ideas) even remarked what a great idea it had been to put that out there. Well, you know what, Mr. Big(Ideas), you great big loveable man o’ mine? I’m gonna do you one better — I’m going to try to remind myself of THREE REASONS I LOVE YOU, EVERY SINGLE DAY.
- I loved you today because when I came back from walking the dog — leaving you to cope with hellish breakfast chaos while I enjoyed a lovely and quiet 15 minute stroll on our beautiful street — anyway, when I came back from walking the dog, you were playing Photograph: The Very Best of Ringo on the Sonos system, and not only was THAT awesome, but my kids actually KNOW who Ringo is because YOU taught them that.
- I loved you today — and most days, really — because, as usual, you drove when we went to get the girls at school, letting me just sit there in the passenger seat and stare moodily into traffic while you navigated us safely through the swarms of batshit drivers who clog up our city streets and whom I have begun to believe a) are all on the sorts of drugs that come with “do not operate heavy machinery” labels and b) were put there on this earth solely to remind us every time we strap on our seatbelts just how fragile our lives really are. So I love you not just for driving, but for saving our lives today. And every day. Because the truth is, you do 99% of the driving around here.
- I loved you today because you let me skip out on the bedtime battles with Diddy and Gaga so that I could hide out in my office and write this post and work on my screenplay and read the Sunday Styles from yesterday.
- AND, SECOND, I RESOLVE TO ACT DRUNK MORE — as in, last night over dinner, which was, as usual, a nightmare experience with our four kids, Mr. Big(Ideas) and I shared an enormous bottle of chocolate stout from Trader Joe’s. It was delicious. And a few glasses in, I realized I didn’t want to hurl Gaga across the room as per usual — nope, I kinda wanted to wrap her up in my arms and snuggle her to pieces. And when I looked over at Diddy, the food she pushing around her plate instead of eating didn’t piss me off. And the boys wailing as they handed each other pieces of their dinners and then couldn’t convince each other to give those pieces back sounded … kinda cute. And, most importantly, listening to Mr. Big(ideas) explain a Big Idea he’d had to Uncle Checklist, an Idea I have heard about a million times before, seemed … I dunno, vaguely interesting again. Sort of fun, even. And Mr. Big(Ideas)’ excitement in his subject was — dare I say it — kinda sexy. Which led me to believe maybe I ought to be drunk more. Then I remembered it might be kinda hard to run a household if I were wasted around the clock — and it would be damned near impossible to actually WORK. Plus the whole “drunk Mommy” thing has been a) done and is b) over — Stephanie Wilder-Taylor (who, weirdly, Mr. Big(Ideas) went on a date with once) is sober now, just in case you’re not keeping up …. So instead of drinking my way into oblivious bliss, I’ve decided to just PRETEND I’m drunk more, meaning — from here on out, I’m gonna try to ask myself what would WASTED ME do (WWWMD)? Wasted me would probably sit around a little bit more. Wasted me would probably enjoy the mess before she got up to clean it. Wasted me wouldn’t roll her eyes so much, or shout so much, or be such a … umm … controlling beast.
See that, babe? I just told the whole interweb I’m not only going to super grateful for the good fortune of loving YOU every single day — and I’m gonna try to be a little less naggy, bitchy, and nuts this year, too.
Hold me to it, babe. Happy Valentine’s Day.