Valentine’s Day has special meaning in our house.
Special as in, kids expect much, those romantically inclined expect nothing.
The thing with this whole parenting deal is, once you start a tradition, there’s no backing out. Regardless of work, sports, homework, money, exhaustion.
So come Valentine’s Day, kids expect lobster, or something special that swims in the sea. And china, fancy glasses filled with Shirley Temples, and little gifts on their chairs. Chocolates hiding in velvet heart coffins. Arguments over whose is bigger.
Aww, sibling love.
It’s the only time the Lenox china my Italian friend insisted I register for some 20+ years ago comes out. (She got 23 place settings, I got 2-1/2. It’s an Italian thing, I guess.)
We clear off my office (dining room table), set it all special, with candles and everything. The kids drink out of wine glasses, which gets a little sketchy in the teen years; fingers-crossed no photos show up on Facebook where overly enthusiastic APs (assistant principals) anxiously await “questionable” FB photos to haul teen butts in for interrogation. Relax dudes: gingerale and maraschino cherries.
Nothing on my chair. No candy heart. No Valentine. No roses. Thankfully, no ugly-ass open heart jewels.
The kids are flabbergast Daddy didn’t get me anything, and I reassure them, despite the utterly ridiculous Kay commercials, that Daddy gives me gifts. In private.
Which leads to synchronized gagging.
They’re horrified, which leads to much simulating puking, then silence. Because if they puke up that expensive lobster, I will make them eat it.
Here’s the truth:
My rather attractive husband’s PDA? It’s all tucked away, for safe keeping. He buys a card. Sometimes. And puts it in his best rolling tool box, buried safely in the garage cave.
There’s scores of Valentine’s Cards there, Mother’s Day too, most still in their Hallmark bags. Under sawblades, vice grips, Gorilla Glue, and unidentified man-stuff.
The cards are unsigned. No hugs and kisses or true love always. Nothing. Oil-stained and wrinkled and never delivered. But they’re there. I’ve seen them when searching for a screw . . . driver.
‘Cuz just take a look here… introducing, for the first time on the internet, my underwear drawer.
Inside hides my own stash of ungiven Valentines, and perhaps a birthday card or two, bought, saved, and forgotten. It’s my tool chest. Guilty.
The kids get the fancy dinner, with trinkets and chocolate and dead crustaceans dipped in butter.
Rather attractive hubby and I buy (sometimes), and don’t deliver (often), cards that can’t express, no matter how nice the photo or words someone else writes, the love that surrounds our table on Valentine’s Day and every day. Mostly.
Michelle Saunderson says
I love it. We don’t even do the dead sealife thing or China and we do give gifts, but undertated ones. I asked for a pocketknife this year, how romantic is that? He did questions whether he should buy me something I could use to kill him…lol. Not into Valentines Day and probably never will be.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
This is the first year… when looking through all of the cards at Target.. that I frowned and thought- who cares. I know he loves and he knows I love him. The kids are too young enough to realize what’s going on except they get pink cookies and there’s more chocolate in the house.
Note to self: Do not serve lobster or fillet mignon when they are start to really remember things and traditions! 🙂
Enjoy your delicious dinner tonight!!!
Chris (chris-thisiswhatithink.blogspot.com) says
I have to say I stopped the gifting thing a few years ago. My family knows (or they better know) that I love them and I don’t think one day should be the only day I show it to them.
But man oh man how funny the whole toolbox, underwear drawer thing. My spot is on a shelf in the closet. We have tons of those cards. He and I laughed our butts off when I told him about your post because we can so relate.
Enjoy your holiday dinner. My family is scattered everywhere and wonderful hubby has to eat his valentines dinner out of plastic bowls reheated in the microwave. Now there is a loving vision isnt it.
Kathy (p/t writer, f/t mom) says
Dinner was delish and kids are cleaning up now. That’s the plus about them getting older!
@michelle: pocketknife? you’re my kinda woman!
@irishtwins: we made heartshaped meatloaf; and cut sandwiches in hearts for school. Yep, i was that mom! shhhhh, don’t tell anybody.
V-Day gifts are little, but make everybody happy: tiny grocery store plant and chocolate heart. It’ll be dead in a week, choco gone in an hour, but worth it!
@chris: we do leftovers 4 outta the 7 days and am quite familiar with the reheat and plastic bowls!