I was thinking about Valentines day this morning, (probably because I woke up to find this cute little valentine at my door!). It is one of my children's favorite holidays. They get so wrapped up in making the valentines and delivering them to school, complete with candy and goodies. (I have taught them the 'goodie' part well!) They head off to the bus with all of their cards and treats neatly in plastic bags. It is a time for parties and celebration. A day to be thankful for friends and especially, family.
I am so thankful for my wonderful family who have spent many years teaching me the truth and value of love. It has been a wonderful journey, one filled with squishy hugs and sticky kisses! One of my favorite quotes for Valentine's day was said by Robert Heinlein- "Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own." For me, that one quote describes my life, anchored by the love of my husband and filled with the sweetness of my children.
Looking back on elementary school brings for me recollections of struggling with classmates, sitting at desks, English (or language arts as we called it), P.E., recess, and sitting in the classroom while my teacher read chapters from favorite books to us for our "quiet time". It also was the time when October meant bats and pumpkins, November- pilgrims and turkeys, December- Christmas trees and presents, January- home-made calendars and winter, and February- Presidents and valentines. It was during February that we each decorated a specially chosen shoe box for the all-important "valentine box". We would spend hours decorating with tinfoil, crepe paper, paper doilies, cupid cut-outs, and construction-paper hearts. It became the project of every child in the class-room to create that one, special card that would have lopsided hearts, an off-center fold, and would declare affection in huge, crayon-colored letters—i love you mom.
Today the custom of sending valentines has been kept alive by children, mine have never made boxes - today they make large envelopes out of paper or paper plates, and decorate them with paints and paper cut outs. It only adds to the traditions surrounding the day. Some of them have even made "floats" out of shoe boxes that they pull around on a string for everyone in the school to see.
Through the years, it has always been the homemade valentine that most often delighted the giver as well as the receiver, (especially when the receiver is mom). Whether it’s heavy construction paper with lopsided hearts or delicate doilies with original verse, the homemade valentine helps us to remember the day’s original spirit of acknowledging someone special. It challenges the artist in anyone, (especially mom's who get to "help"), and can provide hours of enjoyment and encourage the creativity in all of us.
So who caught your heart today?