IMR: 1999: February: 16 — Tuesday, 11:50 p.m.
Our Apartment, Makiki, Hawai`i

Valentine's Day will probably never be on my Top Ten list of great holidays, but this year it was quite nice.

Simple. Modest. Pleasant. Not so much a day for extravagant or melodramatic proclaimations of love, but rather for reflection and appreciation.

I did bring home a boquet of tulips and a balloon, Jen did get the dinner of her choice (pizza), and we did get to see a movie (Payback). I even put forward the potentially dangerous "anything you want" offer, and Jen only put in requests for a milkshake, a day at the beach, and some new clothes for Katie—all happily fulfilled.

But what will truly endure about this past weekend is completely intangible. The long, lazy morning spent sighing and cuddling in bed. The long, whispered conversations of awe and affection exchanged over our sleeping daughter. Countless dizzy, breathless moments when we could almost see exactly how much we've shared and how far we've come in the last five years.

Baby makes three—and how!—but there's still magic in two.

Ah! Wonderful, beautiful, warm, funny, gentle Jen. There were honestly moments over the last few days when my heart shivered and danced in ways I hadn't felt since I first started daydreaming about kissing her. My mushy impulses were so embarassing, I'd blush without having said a word.

[ Cuties ]And to top it all off, Katie was in top 'cute' form. Oh, it was almost deadly.

At one point yesterday, while we were visiting dad and Gayle, she started giggling and crawled straight for me, eventually pulling up on my legs. She seemed to hug my knees, and bent her head way back to look at me. With absolute conviction, she said, "Ha-bup!" When she smiled her big, toothy smile, I thought I was going to break out crying. She's so amazing!

The most unexpected emotion to hit me this past weekend, though, was fear. Perhaps with a pinch of guilt. I dared, if only for an instant, to imagine myself happy, to imagine my life almost perfect. Then suddenly I was terrified I'd lose everything. Suddenly I felt I didn't deserve to experience bliss.

At first I was annoyed at myself; frustrated that I would so readily temper my euphoria with doubt. Then I realized all was as it should be.

Given my perpetual skepticism, cynicism and pessimism, I think I was well overdue for one of those rare moments where one stops and says, "life is good." But it should only be a moment.

The one thing I have always dreaded more than being unhappy is being content.

© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 16 February 1999 · Last Modified: 26 February 1999