I’ve never been one for an over-the-top Valentine’s Day celebration. Restaurants are crowded, everything is heart-shaped and perfectly innocent chocolates are stuffed with icky cherry and coconut fillings. But these are minor annoyances compared to my big beef with February 14th. Military couples don’t need a designated day of love. We make the most of our time together when we have it, not when the calendar says it’s time.
My last intentional Valentine’s Day act was in 2011, when I dressed my then 2-month-old son in a Beatles onesie that read “All you need is love.” We spent the morning baking cookies and dancing around the kitchen until that onesie lost a battle with spit-up. Beyond that, February 14th kind of blurs into the 13th and 15th, and I am 100 percent okay with that.
As I see it, our family is so full of hugs and kisses and sweet memories every day that we don’t need to stop business as usual to do just that. I’m not anti-Valentine’s Day, I’m just anti waiting to show someone what he or she means to you. So, Tuesday, February 14, 2017, I will:
- Kiss my son and tell him I love him when I drop him off at school because one day he’ll tell me to stop because that embarrasses him.
- Look my shy daughter in the eyes and remind her that she is my favorite girl in the whole world. At age 3, she just laughs when I tell her, but one day, she will really need to hear it.
- Hug my husband as he leaves for work because I remember the months of not being able to hug him each morning. I’ll also try my hardest not to nag him about more than three things in 24 hours (#wifegoals).
- Remember to call my mom and dad because I’ll never be too old for that.
- Find time to reach out to grandma and grandpa by the weekend because they have the best stories and because if more than a week passes between calls, I get in trouble with grandma – you’re never too old for that either.
- Spend money on cheap character Valentine’s Day cards for my kids to hand out at school.
- Probably give my kids (and, yes, my husband) my share of chocolate because I don’t trust the mystery fillings.
I won’t do all of these things because it’s Valentine’s Day (except the cards and chocolate, of course); I’ll do it because it’s Tuesday – just a regular day in a regular week.
I don’t get a say in whether or not I get to spend Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Independence Day, Super Bowl Sunday or even National Donut Day (June 2 – you’re welcome) with my Marine. And while I might not get to pick the days, I can make the most of the days I get. Whether you’ll be away from your valentine this year or you boycott Valentine’s Day every year, I hope you are surrounded by love on February 14th and the other 364 days of the year.