Saturday, February 14, 2015

My Valentine Evolution

I will be the first to admit that I have never been real keen on the concept of Valentine’s Day in the past, but I now must admit that it has begun to grow on me. The title of this blog post accurately describes my changing view of the holiday in both the sense of my general perception of Valentine’s Day and the fact that I am now one of those people who feels the need to write a Valentine-related blog post.

The “early” years

Back when I was just beginning to explore the world of girlfriends and dating, I was one of those guys who made fun of Valentine’s Day. I’m sure you’ve heard similar comments to those I would make: “It’s a Hallmark holiday designed to sell greeting cards.” “It’s a conspiracy by the florists to boost the sale of flowers.” “I don’t need to be required to tell someone I love them one day a year when I love them all year long.” I think you get the idea.

In reality, I loved being “forced” to do something special for my special someone. Looking back at my immature years, I think my comments were part of an elaborate defense mechanism designed as a fail-safe in case my “romantic gestures” weren’t all that spectacular. I would then have the option to blame it on the fact that I was just going through the motions for a holiday I didn’t believe in and THAT’s why it wasn’t spectacular.

Moving on to married life

Meeting my wife and getting married put a slightly different spin on Valentine’s Day. Something about knowing that she was going to be my Valentine for the rest of my life put it all in a different light. Sure, I’ll still occasionally make a comment about how I don’t need a holiday to tell her that I love her, but it’s still only a half-hearted excuse….in case I don’t come up with something spectacular. Although I really do try and make an effort to tell her (and show her) how much I love her on a daily basis, I have that inner desire to make a little extra effort on Valentine’s Day. (I’m pretty sure that I’ve been failing miserably for years.)

Married with kids

As parenthood started to take more of a front seat to our husband-wife relationship, Valentine’s Day really started to take a nose dive. (Having kids for 6 of the 8 years we’ve been married is partially the reason I said I’ve been “failing miserably” lately.) My wife and I actually went out on a real date last night for the first time in a LONG time. We tried to figure it out, but we’ve only had smartphones with calendars for two years and we couldn’t find a date night in that time….if that tells you anything. We’ve had a few nights out without the kids in tow, but it was always as part of a work party or some other event that included other groups of people. It was never just the two of us. (We both agreed that our midnight trip to the ER a couple of months ago didn’t count because there was a doctor and a nurse present….and Sarah was completely out of it.)

Valentine’s with kids aware

Now that our kids are in school (kindergarten and preschool), they are becoming aware of the Valentine’s Day rituals. There was a lot of card making going on in our house this week. The older of the two even made a comment as my wife and I were leaving on our date: “Mommy and Daddy are going out to eat….and kiss.” On one hand, I am excited that my six year old is so bright and understood the concept of a “date” in real world grown up terms. On the other hand, I’m a little scared that my six year old understood the concept of a date in real world grown up terms. I shouldn’t have been surprised as she has already mentioned liking boys at school because they are “handsome”….rather than because they color really well or because they can jump really high…the things I would think would be important to her in kindergarten.

My girls’ excitement of Valentine’s Day does have other advantages. They are now requiring a cake to help celebrate the occasion. (You can cross-reference their love of cake with my “Happy New Year’s” blog post.) I never put up a big fight on the cake issue – because I share their love of cake. Another advantage is that they love countdown calendars. Having something to look forward to keeps them occupied and excited, so it’s a win for my wife and I as well.

My future Valentine's Days

I am excited to have three valentines going forward. My wife and I can hopefully continue our own special date night…and maybe sneak a few extras in throughout the rest of the year. My two little valentines will now have yet another day to look forward to on the calendar and hopefully not relate it to a romantic holiday for at least another decade or more. Well, I’m off to let the Valentine’s festivities begin! Until next time….