Dating on My Daughter’s Valentine’s Day Birthday
As a single father, often when I meet women I have my soon-to-be four-year-old daughter Cydney in tow. My romantic history is right there in front of you to tell you, hello and/or be my wingman if she thinks I am interested (she knows I have a type and usually picks them out for me). Smiles get exchanged, the lady usually will ask her what her name is, her age, and when her birthday is. She’ll tell you excitedly her name is Sofia and that she’s four (already lying about her name and age). When they hear her birthday is February 14th. They respond, “Valentine’s Day!”
One of my platonic female friends told me that there is a possibility that Cydney’s Valentine’s Day birthday could be intimidating. I asked why and she replied, “The last Valentine’s Day gift your fiancee who passed away gave you was a child. They may think that they can never outdo that.”
Truth be told, that was the best gift I could ever receive. In 2011 what started off as a 37-week checkup turned into an induced labor and my Cydney being born at 11:25 PM. She made sure she came on V-Day.
Because Cydney’s grandparents were trying to gain legal custody of her, I wasn’t able to spend her first birthday with her. It was also the first Valentine’s Day since my fiancee had passed away so that was literally the worst day of my life. I regained custody of her when she turned two and we spent the day hanging out by eating poorly, getting Build-A-Bear’s built, and releasing a balloon for her mom. It was awesome and this year will only be better. My daughter is my first priority.
I try to be straightforward and let the women I date know February 14th is off limits and we can celebrate the day before or after. To spend Valentine’s Day with the two of us would mean that we’re in something really serious because they’re playing mommy, wanting to be around for my daughter’s birthday. I’ll still try to find a way to let that someone know that a part of the day is about them as well. Last year in the midst of all of the fun that Cydney and I had, I made sure that the person I was in a “situationship” with had a good hour of my attention. We lived in different cities and I hit her up on Skype with Cydney and that was that. I kept her involved with our day by sending text messages and sending pictures as well.
Last year around this time, I was seeing someone for a few months. It wasn’t necessarily a committed relationship per se, but she and I both weren’t seeing anyone else. We were talking before the big day and she mentioned that she had a work-related trip on February 14th, “so don’t get any ideas,” insinuating that I would have made romantic plans of some sort. Because we had that kind of dynamic I replied: “That’s Cydney’s day, anyway” with the same tone in my voice that she had when she made her comment. A week or so after that, Valentine’s Day had come up again and she said in a rolling-off-the-back tone that she wasn’t expecting anything for Valentine’s Day. It took everything in me to not say, “Yeah, right!”
I don’t think she wanted to be let down if I didn’t do anything. The truth is, I made her birthday, Christmas, and a few random days something really worth smiling about. So to be reassuring, and let her know I had something up my sleeve, I said, “Well, you being out of town is perfect! I can do all my shopping on the 15th when all of the Valentine’s Day stuff is marked off. You can have six boxes of chocolate, flowers, and a gang of stuffed animals because they’ll be 50 to 75 percent off! That’s something to be excited about!”
She laughed in a reassured way and I said, “You better have something for Cydney’s birthday, too, when I see you.”