Okay, in essence, this is a retraction of all the negativity that I put forth in an old article about Valentine’s Day that appeared here a few years back. I did really believe all that stuff back then about how V-Day was really just an excuse to pick a guy’s pocket. I said all those things and stood behind them until, well, I faced the wrath of a female who changed my mind. Now, I am saying good-bye to that philosophy because I am a changed man.
You could be wondering who the female is who has changed my mind about Valentine’s Day, and she happens to be an eight-year-old girl who loves the notion of a holiday set aside for love. My daughter is a very loving child, and she is thrilled that people care enough to send Valentines. No matter how set I am in my thinking, it is difficult to go up against this little person I have loved since infancy.
It all started this way: I walked in and saw my daughter sitting at the dining room table writing out Valentine’s Day cards to all her little friends in school. Still locked in the comfort of my V-Day cynicism, I said, “What a waste of time, ink, and paper.”
I have seen my daughter’s wrath before, mostly confined to defending the singing talents of someone like Demi Lovato or the acting ability of Miranda Cosgrove, but this is nothing compared to her feelings about Valentine’s Day. I got a stern expression and was scolded vehemently along the lines of how insensitive I was for not recognizing the importance of love and a day celebrating it.
Of course, I was ready for battle. I sat down and held her arms and was ready to explain all the reasons why Valentine’s Day is for chumps and chumpettes, but that was when she looked up at me with a solemn little face and tears started welling in her eyes. This is when she said, “And I made a special Valentine’s card for you, Daddy.”
Okay, hit the violin strings and be done with it. I had an epiphany, albeit one that I had no choice about having, and I dispensed with the lecture I was about to give and instead hugged my daughter and thanked her for thinking of me.
She showed me the cards written to her little friends, her teachers, and even the crossing guard. They were simple little cards that would be stuck in small red envelopes and handed out by her personally to people she cared about in her life. How could I be against an expression of love and thanks to others from my child? Especially when I had Beatles posters hung in my office, with one bearing the title of their famous song “All You Need Is Love.”
Since that happened last Sunday, I have had to rush out and prepare myself for February 14th. Now that I am reformed and ready to celebrate the holiday, I must admit I was a bit taken aback by the price of cards alone. Getting one for each special person in my life, I plunked down more than 20 bucks and had yet to purchase any gifts. Still, I remembered how Scrooge reacted after he saw the light, so I handed over the cash with a grimace and thought, “You go out and buy those gifts before you dot another i” kind of thing. Dickens never tells us, but this reformation business is not as easy as Scrooge makes it look.
I am happy to say that I have bought the necessary gifts for my loved ones, and I will also get fresh flowers that day for my wife. I think I am okay now with the whole thing. I do know that when my daughter hands me her special card made from construction paper, crayons, glitter, and glue, I will be thrilled to get this expression of love from her. I will also be delighted to hand her something special in return.
When I come to think of it, a day reserved for love isn’t such a bad thing. We can still love all the people in our lives 364 days a year even if we make a big deal out of V-Day. I understand that now and I have an eight-year-old girl to thank for it. This isn’t the first lesson my daughter has taught me, and I am certain it won’t be the last. That’s a gift that keeps on giving to be sure, and perhaps that is the best Valentine’s Day gift of all.