Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Don't Let a Little V.D. Get You Down

 V.D. and I haven't always been such good friends.

Six years old - Valentine from my parents. Love.

Eleven years old - school chums exchange Valentines and candy. I give but don't get.

Fourteen years old - red, white and pink roses are being sold at school to give out anonymously. I buy pink for my friends and red for Leo, my crush. I get one pink in return, but no red. CRUSHED.

The pathetic life of teenagers. I didn't want to want, but I was left WANTING.

Seventeen years old - not to be a drama queen, but Valentine's Day was ruined for me. FOREVER.

I succumbed to the sin of cynicism.

At least for the next few years, until I fell in-love with a good man. (A man who knows that Valentine's Day makes me anxious and buys me flowers on the 13th, or somehow manages to decorate our bedroom with hearts while I'm sleeping.)

Romantic gestures are awesome, but . . . for the past few days I have felt angsty. Feelin' my own teenage daydream. Why are we forced to express love in such a false way?

Once again, my own kids get me out of my funk.

Forty-four years old - my daughter wakes up early and puts on her red party dress, bursting into our bedroom to wish us a Happy Valentine's Day with a painting for each of her beloved parents. The boys are cheerful too, and sheepish that they haven't made any Valentine-inspired art. They are all excited to exchange candy and cards with their school chums - they are so sweet.

My kids don't EXPECT anything, but I went out to  Pier 1 and bought goblets to fill with candy and fake hearts. I bought them each a rope bracelet. ("You'd better call that a 'band' and not a bracelet, otherwise Cooper won't wear it," my husband said.) (Cooper just came home and immediately put it on.) I decorated the table.

Making an effort - it feels good. They appreciate it.

And here I am Polly Positive again - we need even MORE opportunities to celebrate and emphasize the GOOD things in life, to focus on the things that we have instead of the things we don't.




  1. Love, love, love this post. I don't remember being jaded about Valentine's Day as a teen, nor as a young married woman who quickly assured my romantically impaired husband that I had not foolish expectations from him on VDay. We've never really exchanged goodies on that day and with no regrets. But, I did start a little tradition of setting a beautiful table, getting my children (all eleven of them, yes, I'm serious) some little treat for their rooms, or a small bunch of flowers. But this year my mother died, right before the big day. No treats, no flowers. A big empty spot where she used to be and a formerly fun holiday just skipped. I think every VDay from now on will be in memory of my sweet mother and the remembrance of how she taught me, by example, how to make things special for my own children.

    Laura George, your grandmother's biggest fan, and an admirer of yours as well!

  2. Hi Laura - thank you so much for reading and chiming in! I love how you are connecting Valentine's Day with your mother - the best kind of love!

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