If you no longer believe in love, hang out with children on Valentine’s Day. There’s nothing better to thwart skepticism and to infuse some much needed love and laughter into your life. Actually, the day before Valentine’s Day is the best. Watching children get excited while they make dozens of cards and/or help bake cookies is adorable. I’ve always thought Valentine’s Day was a Hallmark-pressured holiday for adults—but now I’m convinced that Valentine’s Day is something special for kids, (and the lucky parents who help them.)
I know, some of you may resent all the silly V-day cards and candy you bought or the baked goods you helped your children with. I get it. I helped my preschooler make 24 cards for friends, four for teachers and one for a favorite babysitter. I also helped my 5th grader make 30 cards. But you know what, the three + hours spent on this project was delightful. I kept giggling as I listened to my four-year-old pretend to write on the cards while saying: “Dear __, I love you SO much. You are a great friend” or “Dear __, I love you. You are cool. Can you play at my house?” Who knew he loves over 25 people besides me?! My 11-year-old pain-stakingly picked cards for specific friends and girls and put them in individual bags. They both helped me cut heart-shaped cookies and sprinkle yummies on them. The infectious excitement and sugar high was a delightful distraction!
I’m convinced Valentine’s Day preparation for kid’s parties, should be mandatory therapy for all single or divorcing parents. It certainly helped cheer me up!
And yesterday was a surprisingly hard day for me as I learned about some sad and maddening situations of friends. And no matter how I tried to distance myself from their situations, I was still affected with a deepening and helpless sadness. I am determined to stay an optimist. But hearing about someone else’s sorrow and betrayal and pain, just took the wind out of my sails.
Divorce is hard. And there are only two paths to take once you begin it: one of learning and embracing a better and positive life, or one of bitterness, victimhood and anger. I choose the first one. But I know the shock in the beginning can literally make you feel like you are dying, so I was very sad for a friend who is discovering a deep and prolonged betrayal.
Another is fighting a horrendous battle that just won’t end. And when people live in anger—to the point of trying to destroy a former spouse—they only hurt themselves with their very own poisonous actions. Money won’t make the pain go away, and hurting someone else to prove a point, just mires you in the abyss. I firmly believe that.
But, as I mentioned, I felt powerless and sad and a bit lost. I kept reminding myself to focus on my boys who, quite literally, are gifts from St. Valentine (both conceived on V-day weekends…go figure!) Thank GOD I had two boys who desperately needed help with massive Valentine’s Day projects and parties, to distract me. I think our cookies turned out quite good, don’t you? 🙂
So, while I can’t send you all a personal Valentine, I wish I could. Think of this post as my Valentine wish for you. I wish you all a moment when you feel light. I wish that you find some laughter and find a moment when your life feels like it is unfolding exactly the way it is meant to. And after you read this, indulge in a cookie (no, not the whole box!) and some hot chocolate with your kiddos. If you don’t have a squeeze this Valentine’s Day, I dare you to NOT think about your ex or past Valentine’s Days, but instead, to give your children a squeeze and rent a funny movie after they go to bed.
Giggle and get your own sugar high on. And while you do, think light thoughts. We can’t fix all the heart-break in this world, but focussing on our kids’ love, certainly has to bring some good vibrations to our lives.
I wish you all much love this Valentine’s Day.