I didn’t realize until I was doing some research on the month of February that, even though it is the shortest month of the year (even when it’s a leap year), there were so many days that celebrated something. Some I could get behind – like National Dark Chocolate day on February 1st. Which was just one of five things listed on that day. February 2nd, besides Groundhog Day, had eight other events you could add to your calendar. There is not one day in February that doesn’t have a concern attached to it. Even February 29th, which only comes around every four years, had two. Besides Leap Day, it is also National Toast Day – who knew?
This column is going to concentrate on February 14th, the day set aside for love. I fondly remember decorating a shoe box with paper, cut out hearts and a slot on the top where classmates put in their valentines in elementary school. It was always fun to read all the valentines to see if you would get a special one from someone you liked. My mom always volunteered to be a room mother. She made every party special with decorations, food, party favors and games. That evening at home, my sister and I had a gift waiting at our places at the table. My mom and dad exchanged gifts with each other, too.
Even though I loved celebrating Valentine’s Day, I didn’t need it as a special day to give or receive love. My sister and I always knew our parents loved us. Believe me, I had plenty of times when it was hard to like, much less love, me as a child. But, love me they did. I could be one stubborn, ill-tempered, sassy kid. Looking back, I spent a lot of time in my room thinking about the way I acted. I blame being born on what was the hottest day on record at the time. No matter, at bedtime there were still stories, hugs, kisses and prayers.
Watching my daughters parent their children, I know my grandchildren are being raised in loving homes. They are taught to be respectful, to listen to their parents, to be kind and all the good things we teach children. Hopefully, this guidance will carry through adolescence and adulthood and on to their children.
Like every person I know, there will always be days when you feel off, and children are no exception. If they don’t want to talk about what is bothering them, it is best to just leave them alone. Eventually, they may let on what caused their mood, but it may have just been that they woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Time spent alone until their mood improves is usually best.
According to The Beatles, “Love, love, love…Love is all you need.” I disagree that it’s all you need, but it certainly is very important. Celebrating love on February 14th is wonderful, but showing it throughout the year means more! Spending time with our grandchildren, showing interest in what is important to them, being there for them and giving plenty of hugs and praise, means more to them than we realize. Recently, my youngest granddaughter was going with me to deliver food to the food bank. We went to lunch afterwards. As she finished eating, I asked her if she was ready to go. She said, “no, I want to stay longer ‘cause I like spending time with you.” Didn’t need to be Valentine’s Day for my heart to be filled with love.