So here we are again. We blinked and suddenly everywhere we turn there are pink hearts and red roses and all things lovey-dovey.
As a first-time Mom, I’m slowly finding how my thoughts and ideas of holidays continue to change as I now look at them through the eyes of a child. This one is no exception. As a girl mom in particular, I find myself looking at Valentine’s Day a little differently and thinking about what I really want my daughter to know about the 14th of February.
At four years old, Valentine’s Day is as cute as it gets. I’m anxiously awaiting that mommy and me trip to Target to pick out little cards for all her friends and classmates. I’m looking forward to all things red and pink in the arts and crafts department. I’m even willing to put aside the “new year, new me” diet routine in exchange for an afternoon of chocolate-covered strawberry making.
But the tiniest little piece of my love filled heart breaks knowing it’s not always going to be like this. It’s not always going to be cute and sweet and carefree. It won’t always be days of endless Valentines to and from everyone in her class. One day that little girl is going to grow and is going to feel the pressure of a big girl Valentine’s Day. There’s nothing I can do to stop it but I can set the stage now to help ease it just a little bit.
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I want my daughter to find that perfect balance. I don’t want her to downplay the day, but I also don’t want her to grow up with impossible standards surrounding it. I want her to celebrate love, any and every kind, on this day. But I also want her to understand it’s important to do that every single day.
I want her to both get AND give flowers or chocolates or whatever it is she enjoys most. But I also want her to know that those gifts don’t define the day or HER in any way. I want her to celebrate it however she wants, with whoever she wants. Secretly, I wish Mama (and Daddy) will always be her #1 Valentine. I know that’s completely unrealistic, but I want her to know it’s true.
I want her to feel loved and show love on this day just a little more than others. I want her to remember the magic of these younger years and cling to it. To not let the harsh realities and heartbreak of a grown-up world ruin it for her. I want her to celebrate it as big or as small as she wants. If it brings her joy, it’s what I want for her. Personally, I am a believer in celebrating everything. I know it’s not for everyone, but it’s for me and I want to share that with my daughter and let her know it’s okay to feel the same way. It’s also okay to feel the exact opposite.
I want her to know her romantic relationship (or lack thereof) is in no way a measurement of her or her character. She is beautiful and bright and has so much to offer the world outside of her love life. This is true 365 days a year, not just on Valentine’s Day and I will remind her of it as often as I have to.
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At the end of the day, what I want her to know about Valentine’s Day is what I want her to know every day: how much love really matters. In any and every way. With any and everybody who holds a place in her heart. It’s at the core of our home and we want her to always keep that with her. Sometimes that might look like a day filled with chocolates and flowers and decorations. Sometimes it might not. There is nothing wrong either way and I want her to know that.
And I want her to know she is always, always going to be our little Valentine.