We have a money-box where we collect coins. All the twenty, fifty, ten and even five cent pieces go in this box. The girls love gathering them up and pushing them through the slot. It is just for the little money. The money that just becomes a nuisance; filling up our purses and weighing down our bags.
And yet that money has value. So once a year we get down that money box, spread the coins on the table, and sort them with the girls. We are always amazed by how much money we have managed to gather, how much all that “little money” is actually worth.
I tend to feel that love can be like that too. We are often focused on the extravagant gestures, the big moments. The proposal in a hot-air balloon; the flood of flowers filling your room as an apology; the romantic presentation of tickets to Paris.
But actually the true value is in the little things
Those things that happen every day, seemingly insignificant, but storing in the bank, creating each day a little more value.
It is in the way he hands you your towel as you get out of the shower in the morning.
It is in the way you smile at each other across two rowdy girls taking up the middle of the bed, and say “good morning”.
It is in the way you work together to assemble a trampoline late into the night, co-conspirators in a Christmas surprise.
It is in the way you both text “on way”, just gently letting the other know that “I’ll be home soon”.
It is in the way you get the plates and he gets the wine, each sidestepping the other in an intricate dance to feed the family.
It is in the way you tag-team in the middle of the night, looking after the child with nightmares.
It is in the way you give each other permission to try, and room to fail, and strength to try again.
It is in the way he envelopes you in a hug, three steps through the door, because he can see you just need it today.
It is in the way you wrestle with the difficult conversation, fumbling to find words to express deeply felt emotion.
It is in the piece of chocolate, offered in the middle of the movie, not asked for, but always appreciated.
Small, insignificant, every day occurrences.
Not much to remark on by themselves.
And yet, like saving our pennies for a rainy day, these little things pile up and before we know it we have an untold wealth. Built up from little things.
So instead of focusing on the grand gestures in your relationship, what about focusing on the myriad little things? You may find there is a lot more wealth there than you first thought.
Happy Valentine’s day