A belated ode to Valentine’s Day (sort of)

My kids love Valentine’s Day. And I’m learning to love it, too. It’s never been high on my list of “holidays.” I didn’t start dating until I was in my early twenties so I always tried to downplay it. And once I did start dating I always seemed not to be with anyone during Valentine’s Day or with someone that didn’t really care. Thankfully, things have changed both in terms of my wife’s interest in the day, and having two constant reminders of how great it is to be loved. Simply, it’s hard to ignore Valentine’s Day when there are kids in the house. Kids put they day in the right perspective.

This year, I was completely gung-ho on the Valentine’s Day crafts. The kids get so excited about “holidays.” We made decorations for the windows, over 50 valentines for friends and family, and lots of little love notes.  I also cooked a special Valentine’s dinner of lasagna (which we seldom make), and a chocolate soufflé.

Watching your child prepare valentines is a really an outstanding lesson in loving, kindness (and yes, lovingkindness), and being fully present in the moment. With rapt attention, Bennett insisted on writing a poem on each of his classmate’s valentines. Adelaide was equally absorbed by the glue and stickers used to make her’s. At this age, it doesn’t matter who the recipient of the card may be or what the card ends up looking like. There’s pure joy in the development and creation…and the giving. In fact, just this morning, Bennett made more Valentines for other friends not in his class at school.

You don’t have to buy-in to the commercialism that surrounds Valentine’s Day…just like Christmas (ahem…although Margie and I did spend a little bit of money on each other…we can’t be perfect). You can make the day what you want and celebrate it with intention and mindfulness.

Despite misgivings and uncertainties of my current roll in this life, it’s nice to have a day like Valentine’s Day. A day to simply appreciate loving other people and being loved.


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