So, it is Valentine’s Day.   Love is in the air, flowers and balloons and candy are defining the day, and my Twitter and Facebook updates and statuses sing of happy dates and lover’s joy.  I have a wonderful husband and three wonderful daughters.

All should be well.

But I am irritable, short tempered, and a little sad.  And I feel guilty for it because today is a day of love… and I have a lot of love.  More than a lot do.

I know that I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.  It was clear the second I realized that after being up past midnight with Katie – who I, again, sent to school tired, and saw Sarah in my bed – reminding me that she too has become a horrible sleeper,  I had failed at yet another bedtime routine night.  My 3457th failure in a row.

As I woke my overly tired, cranky kids, my mood darkened.  Here we go again, I thought, setting myself up for another bad day because I can not get the nights under control.  Sure enough, Sarah started whining the second her eyes opened, Katie dragged her tired feet and refused to eat anything for breakfast, and Megan whined all the way to and from the school because she kept throwing her doll on the floor.

By the time I got home, I was thinking, “9:15am was not too early for a stiff drink”.

And then I walked into my old, dark, everything falling apart, we can not afford to fix it up like we wanted, house.  A wave of intense stress came over me and landed squarely, and heavily, on my already exhausted shoulders.  I passed the $650 electric bill that we got this weekend, ignoring the note from my husband to call the warranty company and complain about it since the company they sent out caused the high bill by misdiagnosing the issue with our system, and headed to the TV.  Happy to have an electronic babysitter, I headed back to the car to take out Sarah’s car seat, which she had lovingly peed in on the short trip to the school and back.

And I started to cry.

I cried for my dog, that I miss horribly and still look for, I cried for all of the money we had safely stashed in the bank that this house inhaled, I cried for the date night my husband and I desperately need, I cried for the weekend away I need so badly that I had to cancel because our money is gone, and I cried because sometimes, a good cry can help.

And it did.

I came back in the house and saw my beautiful, healthy daughters dancing like lunatics to Team Umizoomi.  They turned, screamed “Mama” and both ran to give me a hug.  As if I were the prodigal mother back after years, being forgiven for having run away.

And I cried again.

Because I am lucky, and loved, and so many others feel they are not.

Money will come and go.  This house will, eventually, be the dream we imagined,  and pretty soon my husband and I will have too much time together.  And my weekends away will be to visit my girls in their homes.

I listened to my 3 year old tell me the story line of the show, my 1 year old trying to join in in her baby jiberish, and I smiled.  They were just the slap I needed to snap out of it.

Because on this Valentine’s Day, I realize, it could be a lot worse.

I could not have all of this…  the palace with the princesses and the King to hold it all together!

And that would be something to cry about!

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!