Monday, February 21, 2011
Musings on Valentine's Day
As we all know, last Monday was Valentine's Day. I was inspired to write about it just now after reading another post from a lovely girl. (who I don't actually know IRL, but is the friend of the daughter of a friend.) Seems we feel the same way about this particular holiday.
See, I am not a huge fan of Valentine's Day either, even tho I have been in a relationship since I was 16. (All with the same guy!) You'd think I'd be all for it since I have had someone to share it with for so long.
I recall many years ago when I was a pre-school teacher in a local childcare center, I had a sweet girl in my class who’s dad was here on assignment with IBM from Italy. I remember her mom being very confused about the whole idea of kids giving each other valentine treats and cards and why we were having a party in our class. I recall her saying (in the most wonderful Italian accent) "But, Valentine’s is for romance and love. It's a grown-ups holiday, not for child’s play." Amen.
But even for this grown-up, it's all seems a little silly. The whole holiday seems sorta frivolous to me. And stressful. I have always felt sorry for the poor fellas who feel the need to spend a week's pay on flowers that will last less than that..or on a piece of jewelry that she may or may not like. I guess I just don't understand the need to go all out to show someone how much you care about them just one day a year. I would much rather have the daily reminders in the little things - an unexpected hug, a lingering kiss, help in the kitchen or an invite for a spontaneous coffee date or the chance for an afternoon drive on a beautiful fall day. Those are the things my guy does to show me he loves me. I guess that's what 25 years does for a couple.
As a momma of four, I have always felt this pressure to “do” Valentine’s for my kiddos, that I can somehow show them I love them by spending more money than I care to admit on trinkets and treats and cards for them and even more money on trinkets and treats and cards for them to share with the kids in their classes (x4!) For the past 4 or so years, I have gone the cheap route, printing clever labels for them to slap on a plain white envelope with some candy inside. They don't even have to hand sign them. I really wish we didn't have to do any of it at all.
I have to admit though, this year, I did do something for my sweet family. Mondays are the one evening each week we are now home all together as a family so for me that was a gift in and of itself. (Even though the kiddos don't realize it yet.) Since I was home most of the day, I decided the least I could do would be to plan and make my kids favorite dinner- spaghetti. Which in this house is pasta from a box, sauce from a jar, with the fancy part of it being the pasture-fed organic ground beef we bought last fall! I splurged with some homemade garlic cheese bread (French loaf bread from kwik trip, pre-shredded cheese and garlic powder from a jar).
I really went all out and made heart-shaped brownies (from a box) for dessert served with ice cream...I even drizzled Hershey's chocolate syrup on the plate all Martha Stewart-like. Ya know cuz I'm klassy with "K" like that.
After dinner, we played a couple rounds of Apple to Apples Jr. after dinner, did some homework and called it a night! No candy, no cards, no trinkets. Perfection.
For me, the most important thing to remember is it doesn't matter what you might do or buy on Valentine's Day or any other day for that matter. All that really matters is that the ones who are important to you, that you care for and love the most, know it. Every.day.