Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Why I go all in on Valentine’s Day!

by Jen Sorensen

Why not use Valentine's Day as an excuse to make your kids feel extra special?

I love holidays! I love that they are a perfect excuse to take silly family traditions and turn them into treasured childhood memories.

Years ago, when our oldest three were still tiny, my husband and I decided that for Valentine's Day, we would give each of them a little gift. They didn’t know much about the holiday yet, so we told them it was an extra special day where our family got to tell each other over and over how much we love each other. Amidst their giggles, we also told them we had a little surprise for each of them. They all climbed on the couch, tiny legs kicking and eyes and shoulders scrunched, and asked what the surprises were—a question that always makes me laugh. We told them to close their eyes and hold out their hands. We put a simple coloring book and a new box of crayons in each of those wiggly hands and then told them to open their eyes and you might have thought it was Christmas morning all over again. They were so excited and spent the rest of the day lying on their stomachs coloring, telling each other how much they loved them and their pictures, and saying how fun “Valentimes Day” was.

Fast forward a decade, and I still love having a special day to show my family how much I love them. Do I wish every day was spent like that? Of course, but let’s be real. Sometimes soccer practice and dinner and trips to the gym (as in gymnastics. not working out. puh-lease.) and jobs and homework and—you get the idea—just get in the way.  So, on this special day, we’ve moved on from coloring books, but I love our new traditions, too. Our younger two love waking up to find a new stuffed animal waiting for them. For breakfast, everyone gets their own box of donuts and a huge bottle of strawberry milk all to themselves. For the last several years, I’ve started on February 1st and left a love note for each of them in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. Some years we make chocolate-dipped strawberries together. Some of them end up with more chocolate than strawberry. We call those quaDRIPled strawberries. This year, we’re introducing them to our favorite RomComs: Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail. Our boys are especially stoked about this new tradition. Not. But I think sitting together on a blanket in the middle of the living room stuffing our faces with Valentine’s treats while we laugh at the absence of cell phones and the introduction of AOL in “old” movies sounds nearly perfect.

Someday (sooner than I'll be able to believe), Valentine's Day will just be my husband and me again, which I will cherish, but until then we'll make this day extra special for each of our kids. Happy Valentine's Day!

No comments:

Post a Comment