Valentine’s Day isn’t for everyone. I know it’s a commercial holiday. I know it’s overwrought with last-minute stuffed animals, chocolate boxes, and grocery store flowers.
Still, I unapologetically love it. I love that there's a day in our calendar dedicated to love, that forces people to reflect upon those they love. It’s an annual reminder of all that is - and all that is not. Fate has handed me reasons to dislike Valentine’s Day. A cheating college boy broke up with me one Valentine’s Day. I spent another living alone in a motel with my 22-month-old after her father left and we lost our home. I’m a high school teacher who witnesses ridiculous teen professions of love, overpriced gifts, and hopeless loneliness come February 14. Still I can’t hate this holiday.
When my daughter was three-years-old, I came across a beautiful poem by Sarah Kay called “If I Should Have a Daughter.” I promised myself that one day I would share this poem with my own daughter. Kay spells out the bitterness and sweetness that life can offer and how that translates from a mother to a daughter.
Like Kay, no matter what tragedy or challenge comes my way, I choose to savor the sweetness of life. I wish the same for my daughter. I want her to know that life can be hard, unfair, and unforgivable. It will smash you to pieces at times – but I also want her to remember that life is also made of sugar and sweet. I don't want her to forget to taste the sweet. This morning my daughter was full of love and hugs and Valentine’s Day declarations. She made a Valentine’s Day shrine in Minecraft. Today is a day to bask in the sweet.
It takes a village!
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