Baskets for Easter, stockings for Christmas, - these were my Mom's domain (oh, I'm sorry, I mean these were taken care of by some furball and a fat guy) - and she did a great job, but there was just something about that Valentine's Day gift from Daddy - whether it be the pure white teddy bear with red bows by her ears, or the tiny African Violet growing in a miniature flower pot, suspended over a clear prism filled with water - that just lit my heart. Perhaps it was that on a day all about love, I was being spoken to in my love language. Maybe it was that this seemed the one day of the year when we were given something that was selected solely by our father - a card just from him and a small trinket that said, "I'm thinking of you on this day dedicated to that most pure of emotions."
Whatever it was, it made me love Valentine's Day. Single for all the 21 years before I met my husband, I would still wander the halls of school, my hair curled (back before it began doing it on its own, this actually required work), donning a skirt and red sweater, my favorite shoes, heart blissfully singing. I was loved.
And beyond my own feelings of belonging, I was learning that Valentine's Day wasn't reserved for that one special someone who I had yet to meet - it was a day for everyone - everyone who is loved by anyone - a daughter, friend, sister, aunt, cousin or grandparent.
Thus, while I thoroughly enjoyed spending this evening curled up by the fireplace (which was turned off - yes we have a fake fire controlled by a switch - due to the extremity of the heat) with my media naranja, dipping raw meat and bell peppers into a fondue pot filled with heated oil, I also enjoyed making my daughter a lunch of heart-shaped peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches and sliced strawberries (which, of course, also resembled hearts) and dressing myself and my children in our V-Day best to deliver chocolate to a much-loved sister-in-law.
And since I couldn't visit each of you personally, go grab the nearest piece of sugary goodness, indulge and know I'm wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day. You are loved.
(And of course, who wouldn't have a great day with this little cupid fluttering [and by fluttering I mean wiggling] about our home?)