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If you read my last blog, you know that Valentine’s Day was a big deal for me in high school and college. I know it’s a stupid, overrated, commercial holiday, but what it represents – LOVE and ROMANCE – is every girl’s dream. Even if we pretend not to care, I think it’s a big deal for most girls…even early on in life.
We get wrapped up in the idea of it all… the flowers, candy, and romantic dates, and our dreams (and expectations) start soaring. When those dreams get dashed, it’s hard on our heart.
I never really had a real Valentine until last year, when Rusty and I were engaged. Most of my relationships were short-lived, and somehow they (almost all) managed to end before Christmas. Sadly, that meant I was usually single for Christmas, my birthday (January 15), and Valentine’s Day.
I did get a couple of gifts from guys through the years… in kindergarten my first ‘boyfriend’ walked by and discreetly dropped a pair of red heart earrings on my desk. (I think I still have them somewhere. Thanks Eric 😉 Then in high school a guy friend once stuck a rose and a gorilla card with googly eyes in my mailbox. That was about it though…pretty disappointing for the ‘hopeless romantic’ I am.
But my mom NEVER missed a Valentine’s Day.
Maybe it’s because her ‘love language’ is gift-giving, but Mom always made sure I had SOMETHING for Valentine’s Day. Whether it was a little heart-shaped box of chocolates, a book, or jewelry, I always got a gift. She even made sure I had a Valentine’s card (complete with chocolate taped inside) when I was in thousands of miles away India in 2008. It was a little melted when I opened it, but I ate it anyway 😉
My favorite gift from mom though, was my Teddy Bear. He was my Valentine’s gift when I was 16, and the only Valentine I had that year. I’m sure I cried in his brown fur that day, wishing instead for a guy to send me roses… and many years (and broken hearts) after that. He was the perfect size and shape for cuddling, and I slept with him every night from that day until the night before my wedding. Laugh if you will (yes, I was a 24 year old woman with a teddy bear), but I’m a cuddler, and I loved my little furry friend!
I’m sure you’re wondering now if there’s any point to this rambling (other than a trip down memory lane). There IS. As silly as those little gifts from my mom seemed, every year I knew I was loved.
PARENTS – Let me encourage you to be your kids Valentines! Be their cheerleaders! Be their biggest fans! Believe in them, encourage them, love them. If you’re wondering how to ensure your kids have healthy relationships with the opposite sex (and know their value and identity in Christ), AFFIRM THEM. Validate them. Compliment them.
Last year I lived with a house full of girls on Valentine’s Day. Andrea got a bouquet of flowers from her parents. Kim got candy from her Grandpa. Both were DELIGHTED. Both felt loved and cherished. It’s how we’re wired as women, and as little girls. We want someone to notice us. We long to feel pursued and loved. (If you want to read more about it, check out the book Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge. I’d recommend it not only to women, but to husbands and fathers!)
I’m thankful for all the years of presents, notes, and flowers from my Mom and my Dad for birthdays, pageants, performances, and Valentine’s Day. I thought for sure my Valentines from Mom were over now that I’m married, but I was wrong. I got this package in the mail a couple of weeks ago…
Happy Valentine’s day to me…
…AND to Rusty!
Thanks for everything Mom!