Love was in the air this week. After all, it was the week of Valentine’s Day. For us, the activities of caring started the weekend before when the girls both brought home their list of classmates to make valentines for –- all 52 of them. It was a daunting task, but the girls were eager and I was prepared.
We set to work Friday night with much enthusiasm from the girls. They quickly and carefully made each card and took delight in knowing who they were making it for. While they wrote each person’s name on the card, they told stories about how they interacted that year. Most classmates were fondly referred to as their “best friend.” It was sweet and fun.
The next day, we had an out-of-the-ordinary visit from my oldest nephew, Cole. He came to the house with my mom, and they brought with them even more supplies to make valentines. Cole created a really cool card that included a super weird and creative graphic of creepy hands -– his description: reaching for the heart. Not having pets at home, he enjoyed walking the dogs and made forever friends with Savannah. Family fun was in full gear that afternoon. Mom even resisted the urge to wash my dishes! Of course, she did come back Monday to finish that task. 😉
That night, we went to Lesley’s for a truly extraordinary Indian dinner. I added new photos to my “Lesley’s frustrated” picture collection, and the girls enjoyed playing with the dough from the naan. Mid-visit Lesley made an exit to take care of her neighbor’s dogs. At the same time, Maddie let our dogs out. A war of who could bark louder erupted. The outcome was a toss-up between the neighbor dogs and ours. No true winner could be claimed, but the mud that came back inside the house quickly disqualified ours from the running. It was a muddy mess inside, but even the dirt couldn’t cover the fun we had. The girls and I drove home with bellies full and sore cheeks from laughing.
At school, Valentine’s Day consisted of a full week of fun dress-up days at school for Riley. Lesley came to the rescue, supplying most of Riley’s outfits and turning the “fun” from stressful to simple. Lesley to the rescue again!
Finally Valentine’s Day came, and the girls woke up excited to pass out their cards to each of their friends and celebrate with them.
In the adult world, Valentine’s week was a stark contrast to what the girls were experiencing. The adult world was full of comments about relationships, singlehood sadness, and the “Hallmark holiday.” Sure, a lot of magic is lost from holidays in the adult world, but how did we lose sight of the real meaning of this one? Relationships are not the mark of happiness in our lives and certainly aren’t the entirety of the love in it. If we saw it through the eyes of our children, we might see that Valentine’s Day, and love, is about the friends and family in it. In my Valentine’s week, I enjoyed the love of friends, a “step” daughter, a nephew, parents, and pets, and I hope they felt my love for them too. Now that is what the holiday is about.