I come from an "I love you" family. Growing up we said "I love you" every time we hung up the phone, left the house, basically any time we said goodbye. When I married my husband he was amused at the sheer number of times I said it every day. He thought it was odd how often my family said it and I thought it was odd that his family didn't. Five years and three children later he has become a frequent "I love you-er" too.
During a recent visit to Walmart I entered the dreaded holiday isle with my children and was bombarded with questions about Valentine's Day. I showed them the heart boxes filled with chocolates, the Dora the Explorer Valentines and the all of the socks, headbands and shirts covered in sparkles and hearts. Once we got home I started to think about how our family expresses love. Do my children have any idea what "I love you" means? I thought about the times I felt most loved. It wasn't when I was showered with lavish gifts, it was those private family moments- the time my son came over and kissed my knee after I bumped it (kissing my booboo to make me feel better), the way my daughter watches me with admiration when I get ready for a night out.
Valentine's Day is more than chocolate and candy hearts. It's more than diamond bracelets and flowers. It's more than saying "I love you." Valentine's Day is about showing our love and appreciation for those that mean the most to us. I wonder, does my husband know how much I appreciate all that he does to provide for our family? When was the last time I really took the time to tell my mother how much I admire her determination and strength? I tell my children " I love you" all day long, but do they really know how special, unique and talented they are? Not only do I want my children to feel love and appreciated, but I want them to feel comfortable expressing their love and appreciation to others. I came up with our new family tradition. My children are all 4 and younger so it will be simple for the first few years, but I am hoping by the time they are teenagers this can be a meaningful tradition they look forward to every year.
Heart Week - Honor, Esteem, Appreciation, Respect, Talent