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A Note on Valentine's Day

I hope you prepare more
for Valentine's Day 
than Russia prepared
for the Olympics.

Ah Valentine's Day!  I holiday for retailers to guilt us into buying sappy cards, ridiculously over-priced, heart-shaped chocolates, and red roses grown with toxic chemicals that have poisoned the underpaid pickers in developing countries for our loved ones.

As you can see, I grew up in a home where Valentine's Day was not observed.  Neither was Mother's Day and Father's Day really, as my parents see all these holidays as commercialized nonsense.

I wholeheartedly agree that they are commercialized nonsense, but the sentiment is nice.  Few of us acknowledge our loved ones as often as we should.  As a counsellor, I often have clients tell me how much they love, appreciate or empathize with various people in their lives, but when I inquire, rarely have they thought to tell that person.  I honestly think that we tend to forget how important this is, or we assume that a person knows how we feel.  Even if someone does know, it always feels good to hear it!  I think telling someone how much you care is a lot more meaningful that picking up a card and box of chocolates from the drug store.  I think its even more special when you initiate telling someone how you feel on a day that doesn't dictate that we do so.  Imagine how wonderful it would be for someone to open up their mailbox (or email) and find a personal message from you telling them how much they mean to you?

That being said, as a kid I always envied the other kids that would get treats on Valentine's Day, which is why I made homemade truffles for the girls, and one giant peppermint patty for Adam, but this year I also decided to write each of them a letter about what I love about them and how much they mean to me.  I am hoping to make this a new little Valentine's Day tradition around here, but I am also making it a goal to do the same on other random days for friends and family.

So here is what I wrote to the girls (the letter for Adam is for his eyes only!):

February 14, 2014
Dear Big A,

You were my first baby and you were beautiful and I have been in love with you from the day you were born.  You came out flying and you’ve continued soaring to new heights ever since.  Never very interested in toys or things, you have always been wise beyond your years.  What I admire most about you are your confidence and kindness.  These are wonderful qualities that will take you far in life.  I am so proud of you and the wonderful personal you have become.  You never judge others based on superficial things, you value how a person behaves towards others above all else and this is truly what is important.
I look forward to seeing you develop into a grown-up, I am certain you will achieve a great many things and make a difference for the lives of many people.  You are very special and I will love you and be here for you always.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Love, Mommy
February 14, 2014
Dear Little A,

You have been screaming since the minute you were born.  You are never shy about sharing your feelings.  Although you voice your complaints loudly, you are also the most joyous person I have ever met.  When you are happy, you are a ray of sunshine.  You are also incredibly clever and impish.  You can be so funny and goofy and you make us all laugh.  Your giggle warms my heart and your smile is contagious.

You ask us difficult questions and make insightful comments, making it clear that you have lots of complex thoughts going on in that head of yours.  Your memory and keen observation skills amaze us.

Like your sister, you are very caring and generous with others.  I am very proud of you.

Because you are my youngest child, you will always be my baby, but I am very excited to watch you grow up into the wonderful woman I know you will become.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Love, Mommy

If you are single, spend this Valentine's day focusing on the important people you do have in your life, be it friends, family or colleagues.  Really, life can change on a dime, so make sure the people in your life know how you feel about them.  Just this week, I had a friend have a medical emergency.  I went to see her in hospital yesterday and she's on the mend, but it was very scary.  Little A has a friend from school whose appendix burst.  Then he developed an infection and bowel obstruction.  He's been in hospital now for 3 weeks and his (single) mom, has had to take all this time off work to be with him.  I went and visited them too!  My friend who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer goes into the hospital next Wednesday for her hysterectomy.  This will be just the beginning of a difficult journey for her and her family.

Have a Happy Valentine's day.  Now put down the Hallmark card and go tell/write/text all your loved ones how much they mean to you!


  1. What a sweet V-Day tradition! And I'm thinking of your friends who are in the hospital! Hoping for speedy recoveries for them all.


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