Growing up my Mom went all out on Valentines Day (as every holiday really). She would cover a wall in all our old Valentines cards from grandparents, aunts and uncles, best friends etc. There would be special heart tins filled with treats in our lunch boxes and many hours of sugar cookie decorating. The best part? It was all about family, friends and showing people that we loved them.
The result? I experienced a feeling of utter shock when I hit middle school and realized so many people felt Valentines Day was about couples -- whether you were one or not, whether anyone wanted to be one with you and so forth. WHAT?! And thanks to my excellent upbringing;) I didn't buy it. I continued to love Valentines Day whether I was single or not. Why? How? Because this was a holiday about LOVE. There are so many DIFFERENT KINDS OF LOVE: parental love, sibling love, child-like love, best-friends love, roommie-that-feels-more-like-a-sister love, love of a stranger in need, unconditional love. No matter my situation in life there was always an opportunity to think of someone I could make a card for or get a little treat for: there was always a way to show love. And in return I felt love -- and what's not to love about that?
So I'm passing down the tradition. Around February 1st I tell the kiddos Valentines Day is coming and we start brainstorming about who we want to show love to. We spend two weeks thinking of puns, making cards, putting up decorations, mixing cookie dough and noticing who we appreciate in our life. And that is perhaps why I love Valentines so much: it gets me to consciously think about all the opportunities for love in life (well that and the sugar cookies).
And a few days ago, on our way out, when K noticed the building cleaning lady vacuuming, he said, "Mom she needs a Valentine!" So we ran upstairs, made her one real fast and my heart filled with a really amazing love as I watched how happy he was to give that to her. So thanks Mom for all you do, but especially for teaching me the joy of sharing love.
Happy Valentines Day everyone! I hope you are able to enjoy that many sides of love tomorrow. And if for some reason you do find yourself feeling alone this Valentines (because despite all the kids of love life is just hard sometimes) we have quite a few cookies still left at our place:).
Love you all,