Hammy is such a dear! Every year for at least a decade, Hammy has bought every member of our family music for Valentine's day. Every year I would forget that he did this and be surprised. This year I remembered and was anticipating the surprise of what he would pick out for me. This year he didn't do it. He came home on Valentine's day and said he went to the new record shop that replaced Tower but he couldn't find something for everybody so he didn't buy anything. I was kind of disappointed but, as the point is that it's a gift, I didn't dwell on it. Yesterday (the 22nd of February) Hammy came home with CDs for everyone. He's a sweetie! He has started each child's own CD collection with the Beatles and so brought home "With the Beatles" for Carmac. Zed got a Weezer disc. Declan got a 'Goth' compilation (which, oddly, included the Psychedelic Furs and Adam Ant!) and he brought me one of the bands I've been wanting, The Decembrists. I'm really touched at his thoughtfulness.
Sometimes I feel like I carry the load of any kind of tradition in our family but then I think about things like the annual love day gift of music being a unique and very personal tradition. Guys may not do the things we think should be done, but that doesn't make their contributions any less important or valid. When I can see the value in the very things that irritate me about Hammy, that's when things are best between us.
Money is really tight for us. We've been talking about how to cut back on extras and things; how to tighten the budget. I could get really upset that he spent money on something completely frivolous like music but really: Why? This tradition means more than $60 or whatever he spent. In giving this gift of music, he's giving the kids and me a gift of real meaning-showing us that he knows us and listens to us and loves us and thinks of us which is truly invaluable.
The lesson, for me, is to look beyond my own experience and expectation for deeper meaning because that's where the true gift resides.