We don’t make a big deal about Valentine’s day at our house. We don’t out for dinner – hard to get a reservation and harder to get a babysitter. Since I’m allergic to sugar and dairy, chocolates and candy are out. Although why someone doesn’t make heart-shaped bags of potato chips is a mystery to me.
We did exchange cards and small gifts. M, with his dad’s help, selected bright yellow nail polish and a card magazine for me. We gave M a chocolate hockey stick, a gift card for a favourite computer game and a bag of his favourite treats from a local candy store. M had also made us a card at school, but forgot to give it to us. His dad found it after supper as he was cleaning out M’s backpack.
If it wasn’t for M, my husband and I probably wouldn’t celebrate Valentine’s day at all. All the focus on love and togetherness on one day of the year seems a little forced. Not to mention totally commercialized. What matters more to me is how we express our feelings about the ones we love every other day.
A former colleague told me that they had a rule that whenever her sons left the house, they had to hug and kiss her goodbye. She did the same when the boys left the house. (I am pretty sure the boys didn’t have to kiss each other – I have brothers – maybe they punched each other on the shoulder or bumped fists).
I really like this idea. I think it is important to let the people we care about know.. As an adult, I know my mother loves me, but it is still nice to hear her say it from time to time.
I try to remember to tell M that I love him everyday. Sometimes he tells me he loves me too; sometimes, he tells me he doesn’t love me. But his response isn’t important. What’s important is that M knows he is loved unconditionally. No matter what happens during the day.
I like to think, that even at the advanced age of 10, hugs and kisses can help make M’s a bit brighter. I may be seriously deluded. Certainly, I am on borrowed time in terms of getting hugs in return. But for now, M still accepts displays of affection, if not publicly, then certainly within the privacy of our four walls. And I am always ready and willing to provide hugs, kisses and “I love you’s.” No matter what date is showing on the calendar.