Valentine Memories and Keeping It Alive

As a child in elementary school, I always got excited when it got close to Valentine's Day. I would spend my time with my Mother at the local drug store, or grocery store, searching endlessly through the many boxes of Valentine's Day cards. It was always a special holiday for me back then and the cards I chose had to be perfect. I would search endlessly through all the boxes. Through glittery cards, cartoon cards, Barbie cards, teddy bear cards and the cards that had little slits in them to stick a sucker through. Sometimes I chose the cards that I could insert the suckers into, other times, it was more of the cute, quircky type cards.

The night before Valentine's Day, I would sit on the floor going through the cards, trying to figure out which card went to who, paying special attention to sayings on the card. My best friend would always get the best card, but the latest boy I had a crush on would always get some stupid little quirky saying like "Valentine, you're #1 in my heart" or "My heart beats for you Valentine, youre special" and I would sign it "your secret admirer"
The next morning, I would jump out of bed, eager to get to school.

The week prior to Valentine's Day, we had made little boxes, or bags and decorated them with little hearts made out of construction paper, and glitter. The teacher would call our names individually to go put our Valentine's cards in the bags or boxes. I was always a quiet and shy elementary child, and was always afraid when I put the Secret Admirer card in the bag or box belonging to my crush, he would see me, and know the card was from me. My hands would shake, my heart would race, and my pulse would beat faster, as I threw the card real quick in my crush's box or bag. The teacher would pass out cookies, chips, and juice and we were able to grab our our box or bag and start ripping into our Valentine's Cards. I would get so excited, when I had Valentine's Cards with the suckers inserted and even more excited when I had a little box candy Valentine's hearts. I read each card carefully, always smiling, my heart skipping a beat when I would get a secret admirer card. I would spend weeks trying to figure out who that secret admirer no avail.

As I got older in Junior High, and High School, we quit exchanging Valentine's Card. Valentine's Day was only acknowledged if you had a special boyfriend. Yet, I still received a box of chocolates and stuffed animal from my Mom and Grandparents every year.

When I got married, and my husband and I shared our first Valentine's Day together, I cooked a special meal, and gave him a box of chocolates, and a sweet card. I, on the other hand, only got a card. It was then that I realized, that Valentine's would never mean as much to him as it did to me. My childhood Valentine's excitement, would forever be gone, and Valentine's Day would just always be another day.

When my daughters, grew to be school aged children, I regained that Valentine's Day excitement once again. I was able to take delight in helping them choose their perfect box of Valentine's Cards, and I got to sit with them at the kitchen table, going through each card, just as I did and they would get so excited, just as I did. When I picked them up in the afternoons, they would be wired up on candy and sweets from their Valentine's Day party. They were eager to show me the cards they received and we would spend our afternoon and evening trying to figure out together who their secret admirer was. My heart would fill with pride and glee, when they would present me with a Valentine's card they had made especially for me.

As they grew older, and became teens, once again, that Valentine's magic was lost, and just a thing in the past, just another day. But, each year I would still buy my girls a little something for Valentine's Day and present it to them, whether it be a teddy bear, a box of chocolates, or a new outfit. Even, as teens, they face would still light up as they received their Valentine's from me. Even today, my heart swells with pride and love as I receive my Valentine's from them. Its never much, maybe a small box of chocolates, maybe a card they had made while locked in their bedroom with their music blaring through out the house. As I said, it may not be much, but to me, its the best, and it gets better every year. My daughters and I have always loved Valentine's Day, and we have kept the magic, love and thrills alive between us through all these years.

This year, Julie has a boyfriend, and he gave her a beautiful sapphire ring. I was a little shocked to see such a gift as they have only been dating over a month. I later learned it was just one of those fake jewelry rings, you can purchase at Wal Mart for about $20 or $25. Still yet, Julie received her first ever special Valentine's gift, something I never got, nor Libby.

A holiday centered around Love and couples, yet my daughters and I have made it a family tradition to celebrate the love and closeness we have with eachother. This year, like every year,I will not receive a dozen roses, nor a box of chocolates, or a diamond ring instead we are celebrating with my Mother who got a divorce last year, when she found out her husband of 20 years had been having extra marital affairs. So tonight we are going to the Japenese Steakhouse and celebrate the love our family has for eachother. I doubt my husband will be joining, as Valentine's Day, is just another day to him.

It doesn't matter if you have a special someone in your life. Valentine's Day doesn't have to be for lovers. Instead, make it a family affair, or celebrate with your best friend, regain those childhood memories,
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