I took this photo on Valentine’s Day 2011, the last Valentine’s Day of our just-us-two family. I had just found out I was pregnant maybe three days earlier, and put on a tight minidress because I thought maybe I wouldn’t get many chances to wear that particular item in the coming months (spoiler: literally never wore the thing again). But I wanted to post a little “Happy Valentine’s Day!” photo on RG and was paranoid that somebody would notice my five-weeks-pregnant “bump” (you don’t have a bump at five weeks pregnant), so I put on a leather jacket and leaned forward into the camera and tried to be all sneaky about it.
I was SO HAPPY. You can see it in that picture, I think.
We were broke and it was cold and Kendrick had to stay a little late at work, so we decided to just meet at Gino’s, a little Italian place – really more of a pizzeria – down the street for dinner. We sat at a cozy corner table and ate baked ziti and drank Diet Cokes and talked about our baby-to-be (still, at that point, a secret virtually nobody but the two of us and our doctor knew) and I felt like I was floating.
The next Valentine’s Day, our baby-to-be was just Our Baby, and – still pretty broke, still pretty cold, still wanting to keep it low-key – we decided to duplicate the previous year’s “night” (hour) out. Our return visit to Gino’s was slightly less relaxing: we had a tiny yowler on our hands, and spent most of the meal chatting with/apologizing to the sweet elderly couple sitting next to us and hoovering ravioli so we could get the check as quickly as humanly possible and run back home.
I loved those Valentine’s Days so much. More than any others of my life, I think. Because they were sweet, and they were simple: just two slightly panicky brand-new parents trying to figure out how to navigate their brand-new world and still take a moment to celebrate the fact that they were in love.
(Gino’s is a now a six-hour flight away, alas, but perhaps a family-of-four trip to the local Buca di Beppo is in order for Sunday night.)