Ah, Valentine's Day.
I think you either love or hate this holiday.
I've always leaned towards the love side of it. I tend to be mushy in that way. Don't get me wrong, I can get annoyed by some of the cheesy parts of it, but mostly it makes me smile. It's all pinks and reds, chocolates and flowers. I don't need to get any of that stuff, but seeing it around makes me happy. I think I have fallen more in love with Valentine's now that we have kids. Exchanging cards with friends at school is a fond memory I have of my childhood. Today I got to go to Layla's class party and watch excited first graders go through their handmade mailboxes to read each Valentine from their friends. And to eat all the candy that was attached to it. Layla wrote a poem about Valentine's and to me, it sums up why I adore this Hallmark holiday...
Love is the color of red.
Love smells like roses.
Love sounds like kissing.
Love looks like love.
Love feels warm.
At a yoga class yesterday the teacher talked about love. Not the candy, sugared hearts and teddy bear love, but true love. And compassion. Loving everyone, even those who test our patience. She talked about how much we learn from those who frustrate us. By extending our love and compassion to everyone not just the people who are easy to love. That's what I think about on this day. Celebrating this. And, Layla's right...it makes you feel warm.
We don't do too much for Valentine's. The girls get a small love gift from us and the last couple years I've sent them on a scavenger hunt to find the gifts. I like the idea of it being more about the experience than the stuff. And, I don't know what it is, maybe I've read too many Dr. Seuss books, I LOVE writing riddles for them to solve. They ran around the house following the clues...
The end result was a jump rope and strawberry gum. Something that will be forgotten about years from now. I like to think it is the adventure they will remember. When they are adults maybe they'll say "Remember when mom used to make us go on those scavenger hunts to get a silly Valentine's toy". And of course I hope it's followed by "She's the BEST mom ever". Ha.
Valentine's for us always means pizza out. A tradition we started the year before Ava was born. That Valentine's I was pregnant with Ava and we had plans to go out to a fancy restaurant like we usually did. However, that evening when we got to said restaurant we were told some "very important customers" had stopped by and they had to push back our reservations. This didn't work for me because- number 1-how rude, number 2-you can't expect a pregnant woman to wait 45 minutes for a table and number 3-who shows up on Valentine's day without reservation and expects to get seated? (By the way, this restaurant is no longer in business...probably made one too many pregnant ladies wait). Anyways, we left and took our dressed up selves out to pizza instead. And from that year on, it was pizza dinner for Valentine's instead of fancy schmancy dinners.
On this Valentine's I hope you get to celebrate love in your life. Love for a spouse, your kids or a friend. And maybe throw some love and compassion out there for someone else while you're at it.
Happy Love Day.