I think, when you are older, things like Valentine's Day can lose their charm.
Now, please don't get me wrong. I love Valentine's. I love to decorate the house, I love to celebrate Shane and our marriage and our family--but on the other hand I have a tendency to hate Hallmark for blowing this 'lover's day' out of proportion.
Forgive me--but I do not think the family cat needs to be the recipient of a Valentine's card. (Ever see the "From the Cat/From the Dog" section at the card store? My goodness.) Neither does your dentist, your UPS man*, or your hairstylist**.
*Unless your UPS man is your husband
**Unless your hairstylist is your wife
I think it is the feeling of obligation that I struggle with. No longer is Valentine's seen as a day to express your genuine love for someone in a unique, personal way--it's now become just another excuse to do the usual: think card, chocolates, candy for us; cologne (or in my case, gift cards!) for the men.
And, I learned this week that, even though I didn't even realize it--I myself have been facilitating this all along.
Colin came home Wednesday saying that he needed to do Valentines for his class. My response was to ask him which ones he wanted to get.
"Huh?" Colin replied.
"Which ones do you want to get for everyone, Col? I can pick them up the next time I am at the store. Do you want Toy Story, Spiderman, CARS....what?"
I figured he would balk, and say that he 'wanted to pick them out himself'.
Instead, I got a totally different response.
"I want to make them for everyone, Mom."
"You want to make them? Col, you have 17 other kids in your class...that will be a lot of work, honey. Why don't you just let me buy some, you know--out of the box--for you to just sign your name to?"
But Colin was insistent. I know him well enough to know that he was determined. (And, shame on me for trying to stifle his creativity....)
But it wasn't until last night, when I was checking them all over, when I realized what my little guy had really done. He didn't just cut and color some copy paper.
In his own unique way, he had shown love to each one of his class mates.
On each Valentine was something special--designed only for the recipient.
Think outside of the box.
Make an effort.
Show love in your way, and mean it with every ounce of your heart.
And have a wonderful, Happy Valentine's day with all those you love!