Monday, February 14, 2011

A lesson in love

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.

My Valentine's trees

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....)

So, over the next few days, he worked.  I watched him as he cut, colored, 
and painstakingly wrote names of his class members on each 'card'.  

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.

Take this one.  Madisen loves rainbows, Colin said.  
"So, I colored hers with rainbow colors!"

Tyler likes spiders.
"They're his favorite thing, Mom."

Olivia? A soccer player.

"Gavin loves brown, Mom. He colors with it every single time in art class."

Mercee loves hearts.

His best friend Colden? A fellow Bears lover, of course!

And Ethan? Well, Ethan likes Sonic the Hedgehog, apparently.  
Colin informed me that he didn't really know how to draw Sonic, "But I did my best!"

And, of course--we can't leave out the teacher. *grin*

And so, yet again, the teacher (me) has been inspired by the student (him).

Think outside of the box.
Be original.
Be unique.
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!


Anonymous said...

An amazing little boy. Thanks for sharing today.

Anne Baize said...

Wow - what a great kid you have! Very thoughful and caring :)

Shannon said...

He did a wonderful job! Way to go Colin

Kara said...

That made me tear up! What a sweet heart! Thank you for this lesson Col:)

Leanne said...

You know, you are right on about the obligation of Valentine's Day. It has turned into such a commercialized, you-must-do-this-or-else day.....I've really lost my taste for it....

However, Daddy likes to make a big deal out of the day, what with all the girls he has, so I let him.

Colin's thought and heart that he put into making those valentines just shows me that you're doing a great job with him and that the seeds you're scattering are falling on good soil.

Keep up the good work!!

The Incredible Shrinking Woman said...


Brittany said...

Wow, Devin. What a sweet heart he has! Thanks for sharing all of that.

Julie E said...

I miss you all so much. I am so proud of my extraordinary nephew, he really put the love back in Valentines Day.

Monkee said...

What a creative and inspiring little boy you have! How observant is he? :) Happy Valentine's Day to you and your family. May he always be that thoughtful! :)

Amanda Hoyt said...

I love this! Col is awesome and sweet!
Love him!