Today is Valentine's Day. The day where once a year everyone goes crazy for pink and red hearts, stuffed animals and roses. This is the day you celebrate being part of a twosome by being worried that your lover will forget to love you properly. And if you are not part of a twosome you depress yourself by pondering your aloneness while you eat copious amounts of heart shaped chocolate. Happy Valentine's?
Or you take a healthier approach to this day and you broaden your scope of love.
I have never been a fan of Valentine's Day. It felt like a day when a lot of people were left feeling out of the loop. It seemed that for this one day if you were not part of a couple you were no one and to me that has never been an okay message to send. Not even for one day.
So the first year I was with my husband I told him in no uncertain terms that I do not expect nor want any type of love fest on Valentine's Day. I do not need a grand gesture of love on February 14 because he loves me in a million small ways every day of the year. He went along with that, partly because he agreed with me and partly because it got him off the hook. Our ban on Valentine's Day lasted about three years and then I caved. I fell in love with a new man and everything changed.
The first Valentine's Day after our first son was born we celebrated Family Love Day. It wasn't anything we did intentionally, we were just so taken with this kid and this family love that Valentine's Day became something totally different for us. That first year when Gavin was 11 months old we celebrated the day with an extra long group cuddle in our bed, pancakes for breakfast and all the hugs and kisses G-man could handle. This tradition has carried on now for nine years. Every year we treat Valentine's Day like an anniversary for our family, a day when we love each other on purpose.
This year as we prepared for today I began to think about what this day means for our kids now and what it could mean to them in the future. Right now they are all pretty young and they see Family Love Day as a day to get some chocolate and a little gift. A day when we make a point of saying 'I love you' to each other and spend time just being together. Its not about being a couple, its about being a family.
It is our hope that as our kids get older they will continue to see February 14 as a day to love the people who are important to them instead of focusing on and seeking out romantic love. We hope that we are teaching them to be content with themselves just the way God made them. That they are enough and whole and complete on their own and that when the time is right God will help them to find another whole and complete person to make a life with...if that's what they desire.
And I'll say the same to you.
Today and every day, you are perfect and complete. You have gifts and talents and abilities that make you the treasure that you are. You are love and goodness and kindness. You are everything you need to be and everyday you are become more. Celebrate that. Celebrate you.