I love Valentine’s Day, which you probably could guess if you happen to read any of my sisters’ blogs. Growing up, this day of cards and cookies, hearts and flowers, was always celebrated with a family meal. We’ve had Valentine’s Day breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner — time of day didn’t matter; what did matter was that we were all there, together. It never took much to make it special: a pink tablecloth, and lacy doily on the platter, a few foil-wrapped chocolates and a red-enveloped card at each place setting. That, and the excitement of taking a special moment to say I love you.
This year was our first real family Valentine’s Day meal. Last year, we shared the celebration with my family, which was fun, and Jameson was too much of an infant to care one way or the other.
But this year, with his usual enthusiasm for and perception of the festive and special, he took great delight in watching me cut out hearts and change the tapers to pink ones. He especially loved scribbling with red crayon on a valentine for his daddy (and when I wrote the message, “Hugs and Kisses, Jameson,” he grabbed the card and gave it a big kiss. Aww!)
On Thursday evening, our meal was simple — just pancakes and strawberries — but he was oh-so excited when we put him in chair at a table with lit candles, a special tablecloth, and a cup of cookies and valentine at his plate. His eyes glowed. Special effort is not lost on him, that’s for sure.
We had Valentine’s Day redux last night — a fancy meal with our friends, Jared and Andrea. Baked brie, mixed greens with apples and candied walnuts, pork loin with port fig sauce, roasted new potatoes, carrots a la Kevin, and chocolate cake with ganache and raspberry sauce. Yum, yum. But mostly, a special evening of sharing friendship. It was very nice.
I’m excited about passing on the traditions of Valentine’s Day that I grew up with. It was always a celebration of love for one another, and especially of our parents for each of us. I never (and I mean, never) understood all of the single people bemoaning how depressing a holiday it is, or cynically mocking it as a Hallmark money-making venture, or all of the commiserating that goes on each year. I was never less content with being a single daughter on Valentine’s Day; if anything, I felt especially loved and appreciated and fulfilled. And I tend to think that’s an awfully good New Testament take on the holiday.