TJ and I have never been a big Valentine’s Day couple. I know, that sounds lame. We’d just rather avoid the crowds and commercialism of it all. It feels kinda forced. We prefer spontaneous celebrations of love. (Hello, third child!) Wait, is that not appropriate on a family blog?
Back to Valentine’s Day. It’s such a fun holiday to celebrate with kids. The precious handmade cards with hearts, glitter, stickers and doilies. The Valentine’s exchanges at school. The candy. The candy! It’s all sweet and innocent on the kid level. What’s not to LOVE?
|From Valentine’s 2011|
So we pulled out the Valentine’s tub-o-fun and let the hearts fly!
Since we’re all about the candy, we kicked off the season of love with a few bags of these, which are TJ’s favorite. He can burn through these like it’s nobody’s business.
And some of these cinnamon sweeties. What’s awesome is that the kids won’t eat these because they’re too “spicy.”
Of course, the famous Celebration Tree is feelin’ the love.
And we found this heart-patterned, glitter-infused fabric so we made a festive flag banner to add to the Valentine’s vibe.
What? Doesn’t everyone use a sewing machine with a glass of red wine?
But even with all the love in the air, I’m feeling some heavy mama guilt. Why? Because I’ll be out of town over Valentine’s Day. I’ll be in New York City working with Razor at Toy Fair (the biggest trade show for the toy industry) . I’m also missing the annual Mother-Son Sweethearts Dance at school with Jack. And Sophia’s Valentine’s dance performance. And the Cousins’ Valentine’s Party. And two class parties.
Yeah, I’m talking some serious mama guilt. I know they’ll have plenty of fun without me. It’s no secret that TJ’s the fun parent. (Shout-out to Claire Dunphy on Modern Family who said, “You can’t have two fun parents. It’s a circus.”) No, there will be no lack of fun while I’m away. And I’m leaving behind some awesome Valentine’s goody bags. The reality is this. They don’t miss out. I do.
But what’s a working mama to do? It’s not easy, my friends.
I actually really love going to Toy Fair. I mean, it’s the largest toy display in the world with 100,000 toys! The people I work with at Razor are awesome and I relish any time I get to spend in New York City. I just wish it didn’t mean missing Valentine’s Day with my family.
So we’ll just celebrate early. And late. We’ll have heart-shaped waffles with strawberry milk for breakfast all month. We’ll eat heart-shaped ravioli (thanks to Costco) for dinner on February 9th instead of the 14th. We’ll make pink sprinkled cupcakes to share with neighbors. And we’ll keep making Valentine’s cards, even after the parties have come and gone.
We’ll remind ourselves that love is grand enough to celebrate every day of the year. And maybe. Just maybe. The love fest will overpower the guilt fest.