Cheese and crackers. That was our special treat for those times when we had the house to ourselves, lingering in bed late at night or on a weekend morning. We would ply each other with cheese and crackers and more cuddles, and more. Then he got a better job and we got a microwave, and miracle of miracles, we moved up the food chain to nachos.
I see so many of the younger couples I know struggling with adversary, wanting to give more to each other and their children, and I just have to smile. I want to grab them and hold them and help them know, these are your good times.
Now, don't get me wrong, cars that run and Disneyland, being able to take a sick kid to the doctor and still eat, money in the bank and fun on the weekend, all that stuff is great.
But those hard times, those lean times; testing the limits of what you can do without and still love each other and still make fun for your kids, those times are priceless.
This is how your kids learn to hang tough and make their own joy when times are hard. They grow in confidence and find out that it is ok to swim against the stream.
And this is when you really get to know that your relationship is not about what you have, but the people you are when you are together. The whole of your relationship, your family, is so much more than any of you can be alone.
And yes, I know you can't see this right now. Right now you see car problems. Right now you are wondering how the rent is going to be paid. Right now you may be dodging a bill collector, facing a lay-off, or looking at a little plastic stick with a plus sign and going "Crap, now what?"
But one day, one of you will be alone, looking back, and thinking about cheese and crackers in bed, and rolling in the crumbs. And you will smile and wish that you had appreciated how good it was at the time.
Hold your love close, this is the time you have, this is the life you have. Treasure it. Happy Valentine Day.