Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's: A Great Day for Daughters

Let me start by saying that I have many blog posts going on in my head. I'm generally always writing, even if I'm not physically writing or typing something out. The problem is getting enough time to sit at my laptop to write them. There are three posts I want to write today: Ten Things I've Learned About Myself in the First Ten Weeks of Motherhood, a post about Derek Jeter's last season and how I'm handling that, and a post about Valentine's Day, which I started thinking of this morning. Seeing as today is Valentine's Day, I think it's best to go with the timely post. So look forward to Eleven Things I've Learned About Myself in the First Eleven Weeks of Motherhood and a post during spring training about Derek Jeter.

I've never really had a set opinion on Valentine's Day. On one hand, yes, there shouldn't be just one day that you're made to feel special and loved by whomever your Valentine may be. Love should be a 365-day thing. But on the other hand? It feels good to have a day where your love is recognized a little bit more than the other 364 days.

Everyone loves Valentine's Day in elementary school. I remember how much fun it was to go to the store and pick the pack of valentines that spoke to me. Would I be the only one with Doug-themed cards? (For some reason, this is the first pack that jumped to my mind, though other years were filled with My Little Pony, Disney princesses, and Care Bears.) What kind of cards would I get? There was a party in class. There was candy or cupcakes from the class mom (aka my mom) and bags that we decorated earlier in the week to place at the end of our desks for our valentines to be deposited in. But then middle school happened and puberty hit, and Valentine's Day came with expectations: without a boyfriend or girlfriend, you couldn't celebrate. You spent each class period hoping a secret admirer would send you a candy gram. For me that never happened. Admittedly, I  felt like an ugly duckling during middle school, and the boys I had crushes on never returned my affections. Valentine's Day just reminded me of this.

But that didn't mean I didn't have a valentine.

Here's what else I remember about Valentine's Day post elementary school: my dad. Each year he picked out three boxes of See's Candies: one for my mom, one for my sister, and one for me. There was always a card. There's still always a card. Despite wanting to not put too much weight on Valentine's Day, I remember feeling so special when I saw that card and box of chocolates from my dad.

Last night I told Mike I didn't do anything for Valentine's Day. I felt bad about it--I'm usually very good about getting a card at the very least. But after being in Ohio, battling a cold, and the snowstorm keeping us in yesterday, today just kind of snuck up on me, and I didn't make it to the store (and the sidewalks are too slushy/icy to go out today with R). Despite my forgetfulness, Mike still made me feel special. This morning the doorbell rang. When I answered the door, there were flowers from him. And I had this moment as I took the flowers in one hand, holding R in the other: What will be R's tradition with her dad? I have no doubt he'll make her feel special 365 days a year--I can already see R wrapping him around her pinkie. Will R feel like an ugly duckling during those dreaded teenage years? Will she find as much comfort in her dad telling her she's beautiful? (Will she tell him he's only saying that because he's her dad?) Will a Valentine's Day box of chocolates, or a bouquet of flowers, or whatever their tradition may be make her heart smile knowing that whatever her relationship status there's always one man who will be her valentine? It's pretty awesome to think about.

If you love it/celebrate Valentine's Day: Happy Valentine's Day to you.

If you hate it: Happy February 14, just one day out of 365 that you are loved.

And whether you love it, hate it, or are indifferent to Valentine's Day: Go get some chocolate. Because today is a day to indulge and love yourself; no one's judging.