I believe it's both.
As much as it frustrates me that holidays like Valentine's Day and Mother's and Father's Days tend to inevitably center around how much we spend on gifts for the ones we love, I still think it's important to actually remind our loved ones just how much we appreciate them.
So I'm starting off this February with the first in a series of Valentine's Day themed posts--a Thank You letter to my other half, the love of my life and a best friend of mine. Check it out now--
My besty Naima once asked me, "Does the person enrich your life or do they only cause pain? That's how you know if someone's good for you or not."
I'm pleased I can tell her your extraordinary presence in my life absolutely enriches it.
And all I can say is "Thank you."
Thank you for making me Lipton soup on the stove when I was sick. I know you'd rather have stuck to microwaving Perdue chicken nuggets, but I appreciated your attempt to cook.
Thank you for helping me to set up Equis' small birthday party in the park. Two years old! It seems like just yesterday we celebrated his first birthday. Your help with Equis makes a huge difference in my life. Even as a technically single mom, I feel far less burdened by the title because of you.
Thank you for buying me a ticket to BlogHer '12. I met some amazing people there, and it was one of the most fun and inspiring events I attended all year.
Thank you for doing those tasks around the house that are nowhere near as fun as playing NBA 2K13, like replacing the old-as-hell fuses when the power surges and cleaning the blood from the bottom of the refrigerator (Yuck! Barf!).
Thank you for supporting me as I fight depression, for making me laugh when I feel down and for forgiving me when I snap at you.
Thank you for mopping up the finger paint the boys and I left drying on the floor after our Footprint Frame project. Te quiero, joya de mi vida.
Thank you, babe, for consistently celebrating my achievements. Whether it's by being excited about my post, "Pinterest or Pornterest," being featured on Mamiverse.com or enjoying the latest craft I've created with the kids, you make me feel good when you say you're proud of me.
Also, thank you for mediating when the boys just can't seem to stop wanting the same damn toy. Those guys have a great role model to look up to so thank you for being the complete opposite of the Anti-Dad. I'm so glad you're not the type of man who would let this kind of story unfold between us.
Thank you for treating me well, in the way a woman deserves to be treated--with respect, with kindness and with gratitude.
Thank you, too, for working so hard with Equis to practice the "M" sound so that he could call me "Mommy." After two years and three months, it felt amazing to finally hear him say, "I wan' dat, Mommy." Thank you, honey.
I know your back was hurting for days after that because he was a heavy 22-month-old, and you bravely climbed and descended it all in flip flops!
I'm so appreciative that you didn't let me carry him since I stumbled over several rocks the entire way, and if we'd fallen over the edge of those cliffs, we'd probably be dead.
Thank you for hanging out with Equis so I could attend Gotham and learn some more about memoir writing. Those classes really touched my heart and mind and, of course, influenced my work too. It helped me to write posts like "Broken Waters," "You Hide It Well" and "Was This How You Planned For It To Work Out?" Big hits, those three.
Thank you for fun dates to the movies and to restaurants to eat baked chicken or dulce de leche empanadas. Thank you for sitting beside me at baseball games even if your Mets loyalty goes against my Yankees upbringing.
Thank you for driving me to fly down the water slides at Camelbeach Waterpark, to have Equis pet the animals at Prospect Park Zoo and to New Jersey to shop for food. An extra thank you because I know it sucks that my dad's car is just way too small for your long legs.
Thank you for writing me the sweetest love poem last Valentine's Day. I will cherish those words forever.
Thank you for showing me how to be a better person and for encouraging me to go after my dreams no matter what negativity people spew my way. Your support means the world to me, and I'm so grateful that you're a part of my heart and of my life.
Thank you, most of all, for so many wonderful memories of us together.
As Justin Bieber sings, "As long as you love me, we could be starving, we could be homeless, we could be broke." At least, I'll know we are rich in love.
Happy Valentine's Day, Mi Amor.
Xiomara Andrea Maldonado
This post is also linked to One Mommy's Thankful Thursday.