This piece was previously published at Chicago Parent where I was a contributor.
Valentine’s Day in our home has a long history of being, honestly, just bad.
Let’s just say expectations don’t ever live up.
It was magical, I still remember it and wish I could go back.
Then February 14th took a few rough turns.
Think: a newborn baby, double ear infections, stomach flu, husband lost his job, a snowstorm of epic proportions.
All a sudden, we as a family started to dread February 14th.
Any time anyone around us would bring up that date, in hushed tones, we would mumble…..OhhhhFebruary14thAarghGruugleGrummbleBaddBaddMemoriesMakeItStop.
And honestly, it was therapeutic.
It got me through the shortest but most painful month of the year, in my opinion.
It forced me to appreciate Valentines Day once again.
I even made a special heart-shaped pasta dinner for the family!
I bought a box of candy!
And I made the cutest Valentine love project for my girls.
I can’t take the credit, I found this on Pinterest but of course, the pin led to nowhere.
This is all you do:
-get construction paper
– get a marker
– get scissors
Cut out some hearts.
Write what you love about your kids on said hearts.
Tape to their bedroom doors.
That is it.
Last year my husband and I did this the night before Valentines while they were sleeping.
Secretly and quietly taping these hearts to their doors; it was a really special time.
But this year I decided to do it at the beginning of February.
For many reasons but the main one is that they loved seeing these so much last year that they kept them up until they started ripping apart and falling off.
Which makes me think that I should do this year round.
Because who doesn’t like to hear how amazing they are?
Oh, sure I tell them how amazing they are but not in detail such as “I love to make brownies with you” or ” I love that you still want to hang out with me”.
If I said any of those things to my teenager in person, she would give me “the” look.
Those with teenagers will know what I am talking about.
Which made me think some more……and that’s a lot of thinking for me……why can’t we do this for the adults in our life?
I am not talking about sneaking into your loved one’s homes and pasting construction paper hearts to their bedroom doors.
Because that would be creepy.
And possibly illegal.
I am talking about writing something you love about some random friends on their Facebook wall.
Or sending a text to a loved one about how much you love their homemade alfredo pasta.
Or writing an old-fashioned letter to your great Auntie who loves mail and tell her how much you loved going to her house when you were little.
This Valentine’s day, how about you tape a heart to somebody’s door?