When I think about this holiday, I don’t wonder about flowers, a romantic dinner or a date with the love of my life. We do that regularly without a holiday. It might be because we both prefer experiences over things and resist commercialization.
It might be because for me, it was such a special holiday as a child. A special holiday only through the creativity and love that my Mother added to the ‘things’. On Valentine’s Day, I think of my Mother.
I recall how much joy it gave her to create such a special occasion for my brother Clint and I. Helping us with our school Valentine’s, baking for the multi-district party and helping us (mostly me) look festive. For us, it was always a big stuffed animal (not the tiny fit-on-a-box kind) and some chocolates. She prepared every detail as if she were being judged at a craft contest, like we were the most important recipient of all. Our Valentine’s were perfect. Even with my Dad (who also got chocolates) it was about hearts, red, pink, love, family, friends and fun.
While I only remember one actual teddy bear (a red one I creatively named Valentine), I have vivid memories of the joy that my Mom showed, her character, her giving nature and her creativity. She didn’t teach me things matter by celebrating this and other holidays. She taught me the joy of giving, the joy of creativity and the joy of seeing others joy.
It brings me joy to see the ‘kids focus’ on Facebook today. To see parents instilling love amidst the floral, fuzzy and sweet things that make it special. To bring meaning to retail madness. Amidst it all, experiences are had and I think many are good ones today and will create memories like mine.
Cheers to all who love and celebrate Valentine’s Day, double cheers to the parents who are creating heart-filled memories for their kids.
Thank you Mom for your lessons of love when you were here with us. And now, for being present in spirit so we can feel close to those lessons, so we can feel love through the joy of giving.