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Celebrating Love

By Sharon Bates

As parents, life can become so hectic we easily forget what ignited the very relationship which created today’s reality of having children together. Good thing we have Valentines Day to remind us!

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Valentines Day. Although I’m a huge fan of Love, I didn’t appreciate the pressure women in particular would put on men to “do it right,” and “make it amazing.” That being said, if I happened to be in a relationship at the time, I would usually make it known that I wasn’t a fan of the holiday, saying, “please don’t bother.” And of course, being the sweethearts that men are, they always would anyway. Then… there was John.

It was Valentines Day 2012 and I had a strong feeling that my fiancé, John, who knew my feelings about Valentines Day, yet still enjoyed celebrating, had also been so busy with work that month that he completely forgot to do anything about it. I knew he’d kick himself for not doing anything, so I took it upon myself to finally do something special for a change.

On my way to see him at his event that evening, I stopped by a Whole Foods and purchased two Valentines Day cards and two different, special craft beers. (This was in California, mind you.) I picked one card for him, and one for him to give to me. I’ll never forget that night. He took a quick break to sit in the car with me and chat. I surprised him with the idea and we signed, then exchanged our cards and beers, and shared a beer together. It was such a blast. Really, what ended up being so interesting about this “save,” was that I discovered, when picking the card for him to give to me, I had a chance to playfully help him express his love, but in a way that I’d especially love to hear it. It made me vulnerable, and it was totally fun at the same time.

I know I scored major points that night, and my husband will forever bow to my feet for having his back, and being so graceful about it. And, I will say, the creativity that I used that Valentines Day opened something up for me, too. Now I approach Valentines Day as not just a “show-me-how-much-you-care Day,” but as a day to be in-Love again! And I feel like John picked up on this vibe, too.

Since then, we don’t usually celebrate on the 14th; we both feel it gets too crazy with reservations and dinner. We now pick an evening in early February, and either treat ourselves to a super fancy restaurant or go somewhere interesting and gaze into each other’s eyes, getting present to how much fun it is to be a team. And, by the way, if you’re not on a “team” right now, use this holiday to express your love to those who play a part in making your life work as well as it does.

So, here I am wishing you a fantastic Valentines Day 2019, and supporting you to give it your best shot and get creative, meanwhile having zero expectations.

Here are some fun ideas, on ways to celebrate:

• Write a love letter.

• Make a “love jam mixtape” CD of songs that express your feelings.

• Design and create your own card.

• Cook a romantic 4-course dinner.

• Take a walk around the block, holding hands.

Cheers! …And Happy Valentines Day!