I’ve always been a reluctant participant in Valentine’s Day, seemingly because it’s a “Hallmark Holiday,, conjured up by makers of sentimental cards, florists, etc. Of course, I’ve always wished loved ones a Happy Valentine's Day because it really didn’t do any harm. And my wife and I are pretty secure in the fact that we express our love too regularly to count on a specified day.
This year I find myself slightly rethinking my position. As a father of three daughters, sentimentality is showing through a bit. The twin babies are happy with the bottle, toy and attention. But it’s been fun to watch my four-year old become excited about Valentine’s Day.
It’s not as exciting as Christmas but it is in the ball park, watching her bake pink cupcakes with her mother or writing cards to her grandparents. It was with great joy that I brought her and her mother flowers last night (along with some candy) and watched her dance around with excitement. The moment soon led to her becoming reluctant to eat her dinner, which happens from time to time.
It was then that it began to dawn on me that she’s really beginning to see herself through my eyes and formulating understanding of male/female relationships. Watching me give her and her mother flowers doesn’t cover all of this complex issue, but is a small positive example.
Yes, I’ve read books and know this has been going on since she’s been born but it really hit home last night. So it became a proud papa moment for me and I enjoyed Valentine’s Day a little differently.
It’s OK to honor a specific day, even if it’s a conjured up one. There’s a lifetime of real benefits that can come from minor gestures. So long as the gesture is not hollow and the essence carries on beyond just that day.
That’s my take.
Visit Ben Rodriguez's blog at http://newenglandfather.wordpress.com/.