Friday, February 14, 2014

No V-Day haters here, please

I know everybody is all down on Valentine's Day, especially single people on the internet. You know, that “Singles Awareness Day” thing and all the memes that go along with it. And there’s the whole “Valentine's Day was created by Hallmark as a way to make money between Christmas and Easter” argument. And yes, some say that we should tell people we love them everyday, not just on February 14 (which we should and do). But as not sappy and cynical as I am, I’ve always loved Valentine's Day.

Here’s why: Valentine's Day celebrates love and meaningful relationships, not necessarily romantic love. I love that on February 14, everybody takes a little extra time to tell the people they love that they appreciate them. What’s so wrong with that? Ironically, my worst Valentines Days have been when I’m in a relationship. All the pressure, spending lots of money AFTER WE JUST EXCHANGED GIFTS TWO MONTHS AGO, and especially doing long distance, it was hard to be apart on a day when everybody is lovin’ on their loves.

But I have great Valentine’s memories with my Gram, who loved the holiday and gave my sister and I heart/love socks and loads of chocolate every year. My mom always gives us little gifts for V-Day and I always spend the day doing something fun with people I love. What’s to hate about that? I’ll tell you: NOTHING.

And today was a great day at school. One of my colleagues brought in donuts for the teachers (HOLLA!) and everybody was in a good mood, including our kids. Our lunch lady was particularly cheery (no small feat) and we ended the day with a “Friendship Party” where the kids exchanged valentines and peeked in their bags (probably sneaking Hershey kisses as soon as I turned my back). Then I came home and looked through my loot and I got a card so touching that I almost cried.

The grandparents of the toughest kid in our class wrote me a card that said, “He enjoys and responds to your effervescent, bubbly personality. He talks about you all the time! Thanks for you ever-so positive interactions with him. Love and hugs!” Affirmation like this, knowing that I am getting through to a kid who is so very difficult to interact with due to his FAS and other issues, means the world to me. The fact that because of this “stupid” holiday, his grandparents took the time to write me such a thoughtful note means that I not only want to take extra time to connect with this student next week, but I am more motivated to affirm and praise the people I love. Pay it forward, right?

I get that people hate on this day and although I don’t go overboard with the pink and the cheesy, I love me some chocolate and some words of affirmation and type “xoxo” at everyone.

So Happy Valentines Day, to you and yours. Xoxo.