Lauren got a surprise chocolate fish in the mail today from her friends from Madison that said "Hooked on You". How much more awesome can one 5 year old's Valentine's Day get? Remember those days? When simple little gifts made you so excited? When dressing up for school in red and pink colors with a heart shirt made you happy? When your mom took you to the store to pick out your Valentine cards and it took a really long time to make a decision? When a bag full of high fructose corn syrup and red dye no. 6 candy made you giddy? It makes the rough days of parenting all worth it. These little kernels of joy. Of reliving some of your own childhood goodness through your children's eyes.
While driving Lauren to school today I saw a teen boy walking to the bus stop with a dozen roses in his hand. I literally felt my spirits lift at the joy in that. Of how delighted his girlfriend would be. Or maybe he just got up the courage to give flowers to the girl he's had his eye on. Or maybe they were for his favorite teacher who is making a big impact on his life. Either way, it made my day.
Remember what Valentine's Day in high school meant? If you had a boyfriend you were pretty much guaranteed a card or flowers. If you didn't have a boyfriend you just sort of secretly prayed all day that some sort of Valentine treat or surprise would come your way. Or that the boy you liked would notice you. My high school had a carnation day and you could buy a flower to send to a boy or girl friend. (the colors symbolizing what the sender meant to say to you: red=love, white=like, yellow=friendship) Oh, if only life was this simple!
And then before you are married it's the whole "battle of the delivery" at the office on V-day. Who will get flowers delivered to the office and the parade back to your desk with them. And then you grow up, get married and have kids and you just hope the husband remembers to stop the grocery store on the way home from work. I am not a fan of spending a bunch of money on over-priced cards and flowers today! Afterall, it's "our" money now and I'd rather spend it on a babysitter! I enjoy the acknowledgement, but give that to me on an ordinary day of the week after I've been stuck in the house all day with two kids, cooking and cleaning!!!!
Today I would say to my 15 year old self, "Hang on! You will someday have the confidence and self-esteem to rise above much of the nonsense. You won't care about specific holidays on the calendar. You will find ways to make yourself happy. You will someday experience love beyond anything you could imagine.
You will become a mother." And not much else can compare to that.
Happy Valentine's Day!