Thursday, February 19, 2015

Valentine's Day Fail

We had our annual take-in Valentine's Dinner at home.  The boys think it's fancy...cloth napkins, real plates, tablecloth, and candles!

Always the life of the Valentine's party!

Nothing says Valentine's like a Hoosier Herpetology Shirt!

And pink lemonade was served!  In the boys' little lives, it doesn't get much better!

And unfortunately, we live in Siberia as of late.  The snow has made room for frigid temps.  Everyday I ask myself why can't we move to Florida.  (And mystery solved as to where all my hats are going!)

I think I'm the 90% mom. And 90% may be generous!  Holidays really drill this home to me.  It seems like I always get about 90% (again generous at times) right, and a strong 10% I miss.

This Valentine's Day was no exception.

I honestly thought I had every last Valentine's detail covered.  Three boys (middle school son is past valentine distribution) spent days diligently crafting valentines for each classmate and attaching a piece of candy to each.  (Lesson learned from a prior Valentine's: valentines need candy attachment.)

I sent out Valentine's cards to dear family members with plenty of time to arrive on the big day.  (Lesson learned from a prior Valentine's:  send cards early.)

I store-bought snacks for the Valentine's party at school.  (Lesson learned from a prior Valentine's: store-buying is so much easier!)

I assembled our annual stay-in Valentine's dinner with the boys.  I picked up the food, purchased their favorite pink lemonade, and set the table.  (Lesson learned from a prior Valentine's: boys expect Valentine's dinner tradition.)

I had Valentine's treats ready for the boys.  (Lesson learned from a prior Valentine's:  make sure treats are selected and ready for the big day.)

Then I attended Cooper's Valentine's party.  At one point, the kids snuggled around the teacher as he opened up his Valentine's box and admired all his hand-crafted and thoughtful valentines.  I realized I forgot to get valentines for the teachers.  The teachers of all people!  Why oh why!  Suddenly, I felt like a Valentine's failure.

The day after Cooper's Valentine's party was the actual Valentine's Day.  I was still feeling a bit in a funk from the previous day's Valentine's omission.  The boys rushed to the table and gleamed at the sight of the Valentine's goodies.  Each boy had a gift card and a small box of chocolates.

Connor opened up his box and admired the chocolates.  Then, somehow, the chocolates in his box tumbled to the ground and scattered all over the floor.  He burst into tears and lamented the fact that his chocolates were dirty and Valentine's Day was ruined.

Let me recap:  Valentine's Day was ruined in the span of the first five minutes.

Cooper gazed at his weeping brother and then at his own chocolates.  He walked over to Connor and said, "You can have my chocolate box."

Connor turned him down, but he stopped crying.

And just like that Valentine's Day was restored for Connor and for me.  With Cooper's little action, I witnessed what Valentine's Day was truly meant to be: a day to show the ones we love that they are loved.  I think the Hallmarks of the world tell us we show love in the form of a card or a gift, but I think love is better shown by the sacrificial offer of a brother to give up his chocolates.

This year, our Valentine's Day wasn't perfect (sorry teachers!), but it was meaningful and full of love.

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