Last night after the kids had gone to bed, I watched you press cookie dough into a heart shaped pan. You were planning to surprise them with a cookie cake for Valentine’s Day. As is typically the case, I was done for the day, ready to do nothing. You were just getting started.
That initial effort at a cookie cake didn’t work out too well. I don’t know what happened. I don’t think you know what happened. On the counter by the oven I saw a plate with a mound of gnarled and gooey not-quite-baked cookie on it. It didn’t matter. You cleaned the failed experiment from the heart-shaped pan and started over.
This morning our kids found what you had made for them while they slept. Perfectly formed, gently scooped out of the pan and placed on a red plate. After taking a picture of it, you let them eat some for breakfast and placed the rest of it in a zip-lock bag for after school. I warned them that it might not be there if I got to it first. But that won’t happen. They know that. I know it too.
The well-baked cookie that they had for breakfast speaks of your (our) love for them. It is theirs to enjoy.
But it’s the other cookie that I cherish. The one that didn’t come out right. The first try that taught you what needed to be done on the second try. The one that kept you up a little later than you might have wanted to be up.
I cherish the gnarled mound of cookie dough because you didn’t give up, you didn’t get frustrated, you didn’t complain or berate yourself or resent the task in any way. Yes, the cookie cake was a labor of love for our kids. But it speaks to me of why I love you.
You bring to me, Marnie, what I do not possess on my own. I love your conviction that something will work, especially when I can’t see how it will. I love your courage and your determination to figure it out and your confidence that you can. I need more of those things in my life. I’m so thankful for the way you bring those things to me, to our home and our children.
God loved the world so much that he gave his son. And in a particular act of grace, God loved me enough to give me you. My Valentine.