As a single mom of three boys, Valentine’s Day holds an interesting place in my heart.
Torn between completely hating the day and thinking there are so many important lessons my boys can learn on this day. I need to try to put the day in perspective.
I want them to be strong men, who are soft and affectionate and capable of showing appreciation for the women in their lives; to be respectful and I want them to truly have love in their lives. I want to see love all around them.
How do I do this exactly?
The first step is to let go of my bitterness toward the holiday.
I could say all the things I want to say about the holiday, and my complaints or my hating it will not stop it from coming. So this year I chose to completely embrace it. There are Valentine decorations up and have a cool coffee cup I have been using all February. I bought cool red and pink hairspray for the boys to use on Valentine’s Day and I even bought Valentine’s leggings from my favorite leggings lady. I am set!
But what about them?
I have to figure out a way to provide them with an opportunity to actually participate in this holiday.
What’s traditional? Flowers and candy. OK, but for whom and what is this really teaching them? My hope is that the overall message is that a small sacrifice on their part, whether it be money or time, show them happiness in the joy of lifting up others.
I have to be a model for this behavior, I can’t just walk them through it. They can’t just phone it in.
This year, they will give flowering plants to their teachers and flowers to ladies who are in their Tae Kwon Do family class. These are all women in their lives who have a genuine impact on their daily lives.
I want them to know that they need to appreciate the little things that don’t appear large but lay the foundation of everything that is important to their growth as a person.
As a family, we are going to eat a meal together this Friday. I am going to let them set the table and decorate it as they want. They will be given tasks that are age appropriate and we will carve out that time to be together. This doesn’t happen for us all the time anymore as they often off to this practice or that event.
We are going to slow down in this season and also show appreciation for each other.
Is that it?
No. Not by a long shot. My hope is that there will never be a question in their mind that they should tell the women around them that they are important. Not just one day a year. Not just because of a holiday, but all the days of the year and because they want to.