I have never been a fan of Valentine's Day. Call it cranky memories of a single girl surrounded by couples all " Atwitter" from Valentine's Day. Or better yet, call it the bitter reminiscence of a former restaurant worker. If ever there was a less conceived notion of romance, it is that of a dinner date on February 14 in a restaurant interested only in getting your table turned over for the next guests.
Normally when this day of flowers, cards, and candy arrives, I brush it off with an annoyed wave of my hand combined with some snarky comments. Admittedly, I get fairly vocal about a holiday created by corporations in order to sell their wares. And right up until this year, I didn't really think about how I was going to deal with the holiday, its silliness, and my kids.
The boys attend an in-home daycare and last week we received a lovely email containing names of all the kids in case we wanted to participate in Valentine's. There would also be a celebration...with sweets.
As if we aren't bombarded by massive amounts of sugar daily. Then throw Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's, and Easter in the mix and our kids are exposed to sugar overdose. I'm not opposed to an occasional treat, but I lean towards pushing fruits as their yummy sweetness, not chemically combined factory concoctions.
But...the boys are two, and that makes zero sense to them. So I bought the cute little cards with temporary tattoo and dropped them off.
After my own candy comatose teenager filled day, I returned to pick up two very excitable little boys. They only had a short nap, followed by cookies and a cupcake. As a result, they were bouncing all over the place. And mad because they could not have more.Their "Valentine" bags were filled, not just with cards, but ridiculous amounts of candy from the other parents.
Seriously? Most of these kids are 2. Why make a baggie of candy/junk for kids? Again, not opposed to a lollipop here and there, but we are talking about candy that made our Halloween haul look sad. I admit that I don't do cutesy or crafty, but why go over the top with toddlers? Why not a little cardboard card that came from a box and leave it at that?
I am thankful the other parents are giving and kind, because they love their kids and they want to be sweet to all the toddlers. It just saddens me that we get so caught up in a contrived holiday and confuse love with copious amounts of candy and sweets. As the boys grow, it is going to become increasingly difficult to fight this tidal wave of unnecessary consumerism.
I hope to be able to teach them that love is something you demonstrate every day. Little things are the best way to express your love, and if you can't do that throughout the year, one silly holiday isn't going to cut it. Love, and expressing your love, is more than a bag of candy.