For me it's never been about the chocolate or flowers and any grand gestures (like a britta water filter - inside joke)..... but it has at times felt like the Mommy Olympics of crafty ideas.
I could see the day coming on my calendar and feel that pit in my stomach start to grow.
I wanted to participate but I did no training.
Sometimes with mere hours to go to the event I had no gear, no training and no stamina.
My children were in Grade school before Pinterest was born and I detested the Strawberry Shortcake/Super Hero boxed mini cards but I know I sometimes resorted to whatever was left at Safeway at 8pm the night before.
Oh the shame!
Kudos to the Mom's who had their children write their own names on them as my patience for that painstaking task ran out before cards number 4 of 25.
Crafts and baking have never been high on my list and as my children took their unoriginal and ordinary pink and red homages to V day to school as other children arrived with perfect cupcakes and imaginative and creative home made cards I cringed and hoped my children's memories would be short in this regard.
I tried to sneak glances out of the corner of my eye to see what ideas I could steal for years to come.
I did succumb one year to making pink, sparkly cake pops..... oh the nightmare.....the hours and hours of my life I will never get back for a little ball of cake on a stick....I do remember the joy it was for the children to give them out but I swore never again! The work:love balance was way out of whack on this one!
In the Valentine craft/baking Olympics I didn't come within cupids arrow of the podium......not even close!
Honestly I care little for the mass giving mentality BUT I do love to think up ways to do things for my little family.
I found perfect books and inscribed them, made the heart shaped ham sandwiches and nutella toast (nothing says love like heart shaped bread after all), made special crafts, bought special gifts......
The truth is I love to love people.
My family most of all.
So I did it for them but I also did it for me.
This year we agreed no Valentines gifts as we are buying some new furniture for our home.....and for me investing in our home is all about LOVE. And the piece is Red. Perfect.
That seemed fair for Allan and I but I was having some niggling doubts about the children not having something.
I am, at the same time, having some concerns about those beloved children and some creeping sense of entitlement so I didn't want to have the usual knee-jerk reaction and rush out and buy iTunes gift cards ( another sure bet for showing love btw)
So at 11am yesterday I was stumped.
At Noon I had an idea.
By 12:30 on my lunch break I executed it and after everyone was in bed last night I installed it.
For a grand total of $15 I created a wall of love.
A series of photos from our trip with a specific love note for each one.
It may not look like much but in my heart, and hopefully in theirs, it is worthy of a medal!
May you know love, real love today.