Thursday, 11 February 2016
When I was a child, many moons ago, I never received a Valentine's card from my parents.
This did not make me sad. Probably because I don't remember them giving each other cards. I'm sure they did, but it's not the kind of thing you notice as a child.
My husband and I have always given each other cards, but we draw the line there. The first year we were together he bought me flowers. Personally, I would prefer to see flowers thriving in a beautiful garden than dying on my windowsill. I thanked him and, a few days later, I gently broke it to him about how I felt about them, although I made it clear it was a lovely gesture. Sometimes it's hard not being a girly girl and not liking what people expect girls to like. He's used to me now, so all is good. I'm a cheap date.
Anyway, back to the subject matter. Once my child reached the age of three he started to get upset when we exchanged Valentine's cards. He couldn't understand why he was being left out. Hubby and I no longer bother with presents. After 26 years together it gets difficult being original.
We tried to explain to him what the day was meant to be about, but the more we explained the more we realised that is about celebrating love, not necessarily romantic love, and there is no greater love than between a parent and a child.
Now, we let him join in. He gets us cards and we get him one. You can buy ones with son and daughter on now, so it seems the card marketing business has also spotted this potential broadening of the definition of the day.
I hear you all shouting, it's just commercial rubbish where they hike up prices and put extra stress on partners. In part, I agree, but I do love that, for one day, we are mindful of the people we share our lives with and what they mean to us. I think we should be allowed to express that however we like.
My son is happy now and enjoys the day with us and, frankly, it makes us enjoy it more too. The three of us probably do what we normally do when we are together, but there is an extra bit of love in the air, which, to me, is never a bad thing.
I hope you enjoy your Valentine's Day in your own way. You don't have to buy stuff to show your love, but if you want to, that's fine.