And it's fun (for them. HA HA.)
And sure, I like the chocolate (though I swear I'm going off sugar for reals on Monday!) and I like the flowers too. And I especially like the for some reason necessary excuse to go out to dinner with dada.
But then I think, as the morning stars blaze in the still dark sky, steaming coffee next to me, about the message of it all, shoving all the lovey goody-ness into one day.
As little man said when we were making out piles of valentines yesterday:
"This is such a nice thing. Why don't people do this all the time?"
My kind hearted boy.
I got into a discussion about it with some mamas the other day about Valentines. Some hold the day in such disdain, which caught me off guard. It's a tradition, to me, you know? The flowers. The candies. The dinner out.
But it's also a prompt.
As I write a little poem for each of our kids on construction paper hearts, in the darkness of the kitchen, I start to think about them, the details of their little selves, the quirks, the shining moments of their day to day.
Little man offering to read a book to baby when I told her I was too busy.
The way little miss throws her arms in agony around my neck to say sorry for yelling.
The sweetness of baby, no longer baby, who reaches out to touch my arm in her sleep. Mama, are you there? Stay near to me.
Their dada who still, after 15 years, gladly gets up to get me a glass of water in the middle of the night, who gets up at an ungodly hour to make sure my van has enough gas to make it to homeschool group. Who let's me put my cold toes on his legs at night to warm up.
They fill my heart.
And I feel ashamed to admit it(somewhat? but maybe not?) but I appreciate the prompt. The national pausing to think about love and those we love. And buy them sugary treats. And flowers. And take them out for dinner. HA.
But little mans words are ringing in my head as I sit, sipping coffee, waiting for the day to begin. And it makes me resolve to open up my reserves of love more freely this year. Oh yes, they hear I love you from us. But, to show them, to live out that love, more freely. To write silly poems on construction paper hearts on a Tuesday in the middle of March. To sing praises about a job well done in cursive copy work. To sit and read Calvin and Hobbes for 15 minutes, even when your to do list is a mile long. To build Duplo castles for two princesses. To insist that the other person take the one serving of homemade pot pie for lunch the next day. To create moments of love, each day, every day, authentic moments that ring true, that are not pink and red and sugar-filled but that are raw and real and honest and tired even, that take every ounce of energy to accomplish (for example, listening to more Ninjago play scenarios with rapt attention.)
These, these moments of love, day in and out, the year long through.
More of this.