"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Celebrate: Understanding the importance of Valentine's Day

Discover. Play. Build.
This year was particularly poignant because of being an empty-nester. When my children were younger, the Valentine's Box appeared on the counter top the week before Valentine's Day. For the next seven days, Valentine's would be made and slipped into the mail slot cut into the box. On Valentine's Day, we would cut open the box and share our valentines.  About three year's ago, the box stayed in the closet and without realizing it our tradition had changed. We now handed each other valentines on the actual day. This year, my daughter was aghast and honestly somewhat heartbroken that I hadn't even made or bought one valentine for her or her brother. I made the mistake of thinking they were somehow older and that this Hallmark holiday had lost it's importance.  What better way to remedy the situation, then make valentines together? She and I spent the next hour with construction paper, sharpies, scissors and glue.  By the time the rest of the family arrived home, there were valentines for all.  
Now, in my defense, Valentine's Day happens to be my husband's birthday, and his birthday has trumped the Hallmark holiday all their lives.  BUT, I had not realized how important that hearing the valentine's message mattered to my children. Expressing one's affection for another and handing the piece of paper that carries that message to the person is a powerful experience. They know they are loved, but this very small, very simple act of giving a valentine sends a different message, one I won't forget in the future.  As for the Valentine Box?  It will be appearing on the counter next year.
How could I have misunderstood the importance of Valentine's Day for my children? Working in an elementary school on Valentine's Day is fabulous. I love receiving valentines from my students. The expectant faces of students speaks volumes about the importance of the paper they are handing me.  Receiving valentines, opening them, and reading the messages is a gift, the gift my daughter was expecting. In the midst of the experience above, I arrived home from work on Valentine's Day with a grocery bag full of valentines. I am overwhelmed and grateful. Today, I celebrate my students and their valentine gifts.

Not sure if this is a picture of me or Rowan.


'I will always love reading."






This student wanted me to put the tattoo 
that came with the Valentine on right away.



Thank goodness for this advice!









10 comments:

  1. I am smiling so widely - it hurts. Thanks for sharing this! So lovely!

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  2. Yes, the Valentines are important. It's fun that it's your husband's birthday too. Glad to hear that box will make a big comeback next year!

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    1. I'll be making my valentines all week. :)

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  3. My heart is smiling at the thought that your children missed the valentine boxes. We are close to be empty nesters and I hope some of our traditions will still be important after they leave.

    Your student valentines made me smile too because I teach 4th graders and "love" takes on a whole new meaning at this grade level! Such a happy post!

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    1. Thank you, Leigh Anne. Yes, it has been reaffirming to see the value the children have placed on our family traditions. I still feel guilty about this one, my daughter was so crushed!

      As for the students, yes, working at the elementary level has its perks - being loved by students is the best one!

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  4. What a great tradition - the Valentine Box! And thank you for sharing those charming student cards - so many of them celebrate reading, which, I'm sure, made them extra special.

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    1. Exactly, Tara! They were to me, but most spoke of the love of reading, that makes me even happier.

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  5. What adorable Valentines you received!

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    1. Thank you! It's all about working in an elementary school. ;)

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