I remember fondly the days of deciding which Valentine to give to which classmate in grade school. I vividly remember wanting to give Kevin a store-bought Valentine that explained my secret love for him. It was a very trying process. I couldn’t go too casual, and I couldn’t be too forward. The fine line we toe in life between sharing our true feelings and fearing rejection starts early.
Two of my little girls are giving out cards to their classmates this year. My middle child is just four. I don’t think she has any inkling of concern as to whether the message on the card is perfect for the intended recipient. However, I wonder if my first grader will ponder over each message to find the perfect one for her little crush.
Today, I don’t have to worry about showing my true feelings to my husband because he already knows I love him. We aren’t big gift-givers. Don’t get me wrong… I think both of us like gifts. But we are both fairly practical people. We’d rather spend our money on things that matter more to us. Both of us feel like Valentine’s Day is just another day. Another way for the world to capitalize off of our feelings.
It’s easy to put a lot of stock into Valentine’s Day, setting us up for disappointment. Maybe you got tulips but you really wanted roses. Or maybe you got a 3lb chunk of chocolate when you are finally getting started on those new year resolutions to eat healthier. Or maybe you didn’t get anything at all. It’s also easy to compare your Valentine’s Day with someone else’s. Comparison breeds jealousy and resentment. Neither of which are good for a relationship.
No matter the disappointment, Valentine’s Day just one day. One made-up self-imposed holiday. I think the daily relationship over time is what’s really important. Love isn’t wrapped up and decided upon in a single day.
Even so, my husband and I will say Happy Valentine’s Day to one another today. We’ll spend a few extra minutes doting on one another. He’ll bring a little present of some sort home for the girls. They are his little valentines after all. They’ll squeal with delight. That moment of happiness will echo in our hearts for a short time. Then the girls will start looking forward to St. Patrick’s Day, where now children think leprechauns visit in the middle of the night to make mischief and give out golden chocolate coins. Green glitter and green paint galore. But I digress. I’m supposed to be talking about Valentine’s Day here.
So Happy Valentine’s Day to you! May your expectations be within reason, may you realize the blessings in your own relationship, and may the love surrounding your life overflow.