How My Kids Made Me Like Valentine’s Day

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I never cared much about Valentine’s Day until my oldest daughter was two. That year at preschool, she received her first Valentine’s Day cards. The box that they crafted to hold the Valentine’s and all of the cards within it became one of her favorite things to play with for many months. Each day, she took out the box and sorted through all the Valentine’s, sometimes ordering them and sometimes forgetting them in different places around the house. Not yet able to read, she knew who gave her each of the cards, without having to ask me the name. Witnessing how special the day was for my daughter, the simple act of giving and receiving cards from her friends, accorded me a new appreciation of the day.
Every year on Facebook, I am reminded by all of my friends in Latin America that Valentine’s Day is not just about love. It’s also about friendship: “Feliz Dia del Amor y Amistad” (Happy Love and Friendship Day). My kids’ excitement reinforces the essence of the day that we’ve somehow lost through greater commercialization. It’s not really about flowers, chocolates, expensive dinners and manufactured displays of love that often turn into unmet expectations. The essence is a celebration of all types of love and the spontaneity of the little tokens of affection–like the simple pleasure of receiving cards from all your school friends.
Here are the cards my five-year-old made this year, almost entirely by herself. She had a very strong vision of what she wanted. And we decided to add the finishing touch of writing all the kids’ names in both Arabic and English, thanks to my husband’s help.
Can you tell which one is her best friend? She glued two hearts on her card.
And here are my three-year-old’s cards. She liked the elephant theme, so I cut everything and she colored in all the hearts.

Happy Love and Friendship Day!

4 COMMENTS

  1. Love this article Stephanie!! Beautifully said, and much needed for the cynic in me! And elephants with hearts on the trunk, awww…! But the best would have to be Arabic touch – beautiful, again!

  2. Thanks Meera! I am hoping that people actually recognize it’s Arabic and not just kid scribbles, given Moe’s writing and all- lol.

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