|Give kids lots of encouragement. Teach children to share their feelings of love.|
Valentine's Day is right around the corner. It brings back memories of hanging manilla envelopes decorated in red and pink hearts and white paper doilies. As kids we'd fill them at the beginning of the school day with little cards, looking forward to a Valentine's Party at the end of the week, topped off with pink sugar cookies and pink frosted cupcakes.
Getting cards from friends and secret admirers would stuff those makeshift mailboxes our teachers had encouraged us to wholeheartedly design. I can still feel the candy hearts now, shaking inside their tiny red box, chalky and stamped with sweet messages like Be Mine or Kiss Me. The power of those messages dared us to repeat those sentiments out loud to a crush. Of course messages have come a long way since then, with this year's online winner chirping Tweet Me.
It also brings to mind my son's second grade classroom with Mrs. Diane Gleason. She explained at conferences how he had slid up to her desk while they were making out their cards. Like a child Cassanova or a complete innocent (depending on who's telling the story) he asked,
"should I make yours out to Diane or Mrs. Gleason?" I wonder where he may have picked that up? She couldn't help but smile. What's not to love?
The one thing we taught our kids growing up was to love, so you'd think Valentine's Day would be a biggie for all the bleeding hearts in the Toomey Household. Like clockwork, every year, I have heard for a couple weeks leading up to Cupid's big day from my female friends who wonder wringin,g their sparkly hands, what they might get for Valentine's Day. I have read that guys can't read your mind, you must tell them what you want. H-m-m. Sounds like applying for a loan to me.
Upon writing this I found out that 85 percent of Valentine cards are purchased by woman. That's a shocker! But I don't know how we have come so far away from love and so close to the size of the box of chocolates or something sparkly.
One thing's for sure, they are probably more memorable, but as brain cells are getting shot with Cupid's arrows I would need a swank hotel and tickets to Carmen to experience at least one memorable Valentine's Day to write about! But, then what? I fear I will have to have something sparkly and the size of the Hope Diamond for the next "memorable" Valentine's Day.
After more than 30 years of being with hubby I was hard pressed to find a Valentine's day that had really pulled at my heart strings. Was this wrong? Should I be upset? I'm sure 've gotten flowers and chocolates, but I couldn't really put my finger on any one date that was significantly stellar.
I asked my husband and he explained in his typical Steve-logic that maybe it was because he waited 'til the next day to save 50 percent on those little gifties. Aha! He even admits to rebelling against the romantic date, and so smoothly. But he couldn't sympathetically or heroically pinpoint any special Day After Valentine's Day trinket either.
What does it mean? My husband is practical and I don't have a lot of bling. But, here's the rub, we are still in love. We've actually become an icon for love in our heart of friends and family. People want to know our secret. What's the secret? Boy if I had a dollar for every time I heard that I would be able to insure memorable gifts on VD for the rest of my life!
He does make me laugh, on an hourly basis, and you know laughter is the love drug.
Maybe it's just because every day is like Valentine's Day with us in a corny sort of way. He must say, ahem, "You're beautiful!" ten times a day. And I'm actually starting to believe this stuff. The way we dance around the kitchen is not something you would see in the Smithsonian, although at times I do feel like we could be an ancient exhibit in one of those Natural History displays, entitled, "Example of Relic couple in the 21st Century."
Teaching our children how to love is something priceless. It's not about the sparkly, or the candlelight dinner or the perfect card, although those things are nice, hint, hint. It's about love, and love can be shared with the special people in your life in many ways; a hug, a word of encouragement, a heartfelt letter, or a kind act.
I guess Valentine's Day is there to remind us that we should celebrate our love for eachother every day of the year. Be grateful for the loves you have in your life. On Valentine's Day remember to thank the people you love so dear, for loving you back. Sometimes we forget to tell the ones who are closest to us because we assume they already know.
Because the power of love can go a long way while you're waiting 364 days for Valentine's Day to roll around next year. And I don't know about you, but that's just too long for me to wait for that sparkly hope!
Good Luck! Good Parenting!
|Getting ready to shop old things into new.|
L-R Linda Reinhart,Katrina Hendricks, Linda Ferris,Kim Vincent, Katie Harvie, Jillian Toomey
|Little hands and big hands-young children love to help|
|Collin Toomey watches as Aunt Lynn; Mom , Michelle Toomey; and Aunt Natalie, shop at the green swap.|
|Natalie Macmillan,Jillian Toomey,Katie Harvie, Linda Ferris,Kim Vincent, Linda Reinhart,Katrina Hendricks, Lynn Toomey, and Courtney Neforas - Clothes and items ready to be donated to local charities.|
|Shopping for free is fun and charitable.|