Valentine’s Day Is Way More Fun With Kids

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I have never been a big Valentine’s Day person. I have always resented the idea of dedicating one day each year to being lovey-dovey just because the retail beast tells us to. My husband and I only barely observed it for years- we hate the crowds and the gimmicky nature of the whole thing. That changed when we had our kids. Their little school parties and adorable excitement showed us that for us, Valentine’s Day is way more fun with kids.

I can’t say that my life had no meaning before kids, because that is total bullshit. However, I can say that having kids made me look at certain things through their eyes, in a whole new light, really. Holidays in general are more fun for me now because witnessing their excitement adds a new layer of significance. To them, everything is novel, everything is special. They take away my jaded views and make me see what could be fun about a manufactured holiday centered around retail expenditures.

For instance- have you ever had the privilege of sitting with a 5-year old boy and filling out Valentines for his entire kindergarten class? It is tedious, but it is also a precious window into his emotions and his little friendships. He carefully selects a card for each kid in his class and takes special care to set aside the “big” card in the box for his beloved teacher. He writes the names with painstaking effort, the tip of his tongue sticking out in concentration. Parents, it does not get any cuter than this.

There is also the entertainment aspect of filling out cards with a 7-year old girl. Oh, the drama. This is the first year we had to buy “boy” cards as she was concerned the boys in her class would scoff at her treasured Ever After High Valentines. There are little crushes and BFF situations to dissect when deciding who gets what card. I won’t lie- it’s very amusing.

After years of not doing anything for this Hallmark holiday, I now make a special dinner and buy a cake (no baking- let’s not go crazy, here). My husband brings roses for the table and the kids make us cards. As a couple without kids, we always eschewed going out on Valentine’s Day because of how crowded the restaurants would be and also, because we really didn’t care. We could go out any other night of the week and not deal with the nonsense. Now that we have kids who are excited, we are happy to do something to observe it. They turned a holiday I never gave shits about into one I look forward to, at least a little. Once again, they erode my cynicism- bit by bit. For me, that is what being a parent is all about.

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