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Why I Love Valentine’s Day

February 12, 2013

I love Valentine’s Day.

This is a big switch since I was younger.  I liked Valentine’s Day okay in elementary school, not so much in junior high and high school, and by post college I was rather cynical about the whole thing.  It seemed contrived.  It was just an excuse to eat chocolate, buy cards, and get all dressed up only to be disappointed.  In high school it was a reminder that I wasn’t the popular one or the pretty one or the one all the boys liked.  I never got lots of carnation, at least not the red ones from boys–just the white ones from girl friends.  When you have 45 people in your graduating class, many of whom you you were with since seventh grade there’s a lot of opportunity to feel bad about yourself.  Everyone remembers still (it got brought up at our 20 year high school reunion by someone who wasn’t even there in 8th grade) how I used to whack people with my red purse.  It was hard for me to grow out of the awkward middle schooler I was into a slightly more mature high school senior.

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It wasn’t until the past couple of years that I could say I loved Valentine’s Day.  As is true with so much, kids change everything.  Madeleine loves making her Valentine’s cards.  Thank goodness for pinterest (yep, I’m one of those odd people who actually make some of the things I find on pinterest).  This year, we spent last weekend making owl valentine days in earthy colors (so the boys will like them too) and melted crayon hearts. John and Isaac love the store bought Valentines.  This year they both settled on Lego Star Wars cards, with stickers.  John carefully decided which friend would receive what card and what sticker.  On Saturday, since Madeleine was already making her valentine cards and we were making birthday cards for Grammie, the kids worked on cards for each other.  We have a shoe box sitting on our art cart collecting our Valentines.

As usual, Valentine’s Day isn’t without heartbreak.  Madeleine used her own money on Saturday to buy a bag of swedish fish.  She had carefully saved three.  This morning she found Isaac sitting under the table eating her saved swedish fish.  Tears erupted.  Madeleine had set aside three fish to share with John and Isaac.  Now her special Valentine day surprise was gone.

That’s why I love Valentine’s Day.  I love watching the kids making cards for each other and thinking of the special things they can do for each other.  It’s not terribly lopsided like birthdays are–everyone is celebrated (this is how we celebrated last year).  When John saw Madeleine crying, he immediately came to me asked how to spell her name so he could make her another Valentine card.  Sweetness prevails–at least slightly more frequently.

Me?  I’m excited, too.  I found a special little craft at Target to do for the family.  I’m planning a special meal.  Curtis is making crepes, I’m making savory fillings for them.  For dessert, we’re trying chocolate fondue, with angel food cake, strawberries, and pretzels to dip into it.  I am also printing off Ten Things I Love About You for each child again and filling it out.

Such a switch from fifteen years ago, when I was adamantly against Valentine’s Day.  Kids do change everything.  Sometimes, they make our lives  richer and ordinary holidays more special.

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