I clearly remember that Valentine's Day when my daughter was 5 years old. I remember her being upset because Daddy bought Mommy something for Valentine's Day but she got a rock from her parents. Oh, she got those cute SpongeBob and Barbie valentines from her classmates along with a gross of cookies and candy; but she didn't get anything from her Mom and Dad. Bad Mommy. Bad Daddy. I remember standing in front of the Grand Inquisitor pleading my case: Valentine's Day is a Mommy-Daddy holiday. I was holding a leaky bucket; it wasn't holding any water. Her answer was "Isn't Valentine's Day about love, Mommy?". To that, I had no answer.
Since then, we've made a stink over Valentine's Day. She's 12 now and she still looks forward to Valentine's Day. I don't think she'll ever stop loving the holiday and my greatest wish for her is that when she's all grown-up, she'll find someone who loves her and continues to make a stink over her; not just on Valentine's Day but all the days they are together.
As part of From Dates to Diapers and Beyond's Ipod Touch and $10 Walmart gift card giveaway sponsored by Walmart and the ElevenMoms, Christine is asking for ways you include your kids in Valentine's Day celebrations.
So how do we celebrate this holiday of love? Well my daughter's school decided that sixth grade is "too old" to exchange Valentines (kill-joys) but before that, we always tried to decorate our Valentine's Day box that she took to school in something unique. One year we decorated a shoebox in a monkey theme. I got some great monkey wrapping paper from Walmart and we wrapped both the top and bottom of the box separately. We also bought some glitter letters and not only decorated the box with her name but added "I'm going APE over you". I had a tough time finding Valentine's Day exchange cards with monkeys on them; the trick is to shop early before everything is picked over.
Every year my daughter looks forward to our baking day. A few days before Valentine's Day, my daughter and I break out the cookie cutters and bake away. I always let her do the final decorations. We bake enough for the classroom party as well as a special bag of cookies for Daddy from "The Goob".
I no longer have to help her make her own Valentine's Day cards. She always makes home-made cards for her Dad, Me, her grandmother and her brothers. I've saved these over the years as well as taking a picture of her every year on Valentine's Day in her special dress-up outfit for school. I've saved my cards and pictures and someday I'm planning on making a Valentine's Day scrapbook for her and I.
And every year now, her dad and I buy her a special Valentine's Day gift from both of us. It's never something big, but just a little token of love for Valentine's Day. This year, we bought her a pair of dangling heart earrings from her favorite store, Claire's. She has a dance to attend on Valentine's Day at school in the evening and I think she'll wear these with her new dress. This is her first pair of "dangley" earrings. It's also her first boy/girl dance; her father weeps in the corner as we speak.