A Chat About Valentine's Day

We had our annual get together at my house for Valentine's Day. Amy & Jessie came over and we ate, hung out with Caleb, and laid in my bed. I know this sounds rather anti-climatic, but we had all worked all day and were tired. It was just wonderful being with them.

Valentine's Day is interesting to me because it evokes so much out of people. Holidays can so often do this for different reasons. I find that Valentine's Day can be particularly different for people for varying reasons. An example of this is for those who might feel the day is more of a "Single Awareness Day" (a term I have never liked). Because I know and love some folks who have a more difficult time on this day, I am especially sympathetic about it. However for me, it has never been a negative or difficult day. I used to barely notice the day go by. Before my previous relationship and actually recognized the day in some way, it hardly fazed me. While I was young, it has just never mattered to me. It was a day like any other. Of course now having Caleb, it has taken on a whole new meaning to me like most everything else.

For the past few years, I have gotten together with friends and enjoyed a meal with them. This may sound simple, but it is one of my favorite things to do in life. One year ended in a strange pillow fight that only Amanda seemed to carry on until she roused Jessie to participate. Of course I was filming in the corner. We noted that while lots of couples were probably being romantically linked in some capacity at that moment, there we were, with me filming a pillow fight. 

This year was the first year Caleb has had a greater understanding of holidays. I found myself thinking about Valentine's Day and how I want to approach it with Caleb. Valentine's Day now seems to be more of a Hallmark holiday than anything else. This doesn't actually bother me because I love cards at any time for any reason. Unfortunately, dinning and floral costs are exorbitantly priced, which I do find ridiculous. For couples, Valentine's Day is another day to recognize the love they have. For other folks, it can be a chance to go on a date or whatever else. For my friends and I, it has been a time to make an effort to get together, even if it is not convenient. This last week, we were tired. Amy drove from Cerritos after work, Jessie came after working later in the evening, and I was busy with Caleb and work. Making this effort to see each other when we normally wouldn’t is special to me. (So thanks for coming guys. You are pretty awesome. :) ).  

For Caleb, I knew I wanted to focus on love. I love love. I don't mean romantic love, but God's love. I love his unconditional, unfiltered, perfect, beautiful, love. I love that he sees beauty in the ashes. I love that he sees people that we may find off-putting in some way, as his baby. We are so good at judging people. We don't even know we do it half the time and we are ALL guilty of this despite our best efforts. It happens. I know Christians aren't supposed to judge more than anyone since we should reflect this love, but I find that we have been some of the worst at this. It's like Christians find more reason to judge than to love. Obviously I don't mean all Christians. I am just saying, in my lifetime of being a Christian and going to a lot of different churches, this is something I have noticed. It is also probably why I have had a hard time doing the church thing in the past. (By "doing the church thing", I mean committing to my own church. Now, Caleb and I have our own church. But it did initially take me some time to call it that). We are human and prone to this sort of stuff. I mean, I used to make a living out of judging peoples appearances. If they came into my store and needed help dressing well, I could do that. And I could point out why what they currently had going on in their attire was frumpy and should be replaced with sparkling dresses and suit ware. :) Shocking, since it's not like I have some great sense of style for myself. I had to break out of this mindset. It wasn't good, even though I loved my job and my team at the time. I still love that team to this day. 

Reeling it back in from my tangent now. I decided I wanted to emphasize on love and what that might look like in every day life. I didn't know how to do this for this year. I didn't have much time, so I ended up not doing much on this front. I printed these pictures because they were on my Pinterest and I thought they might help illustrate to a toddler an image of love: 

I really wanted to find pictures of people showing love to others in some ways. Helping others in some way or any other images of love. I printed out the above 2 photos and framed them with some cheap $3 frames from Target. I told Caleb that the shepherd is carrying that lamb and taking care of those sheep, much like how Jesus cares for us. I told him that this is an example of love. What did he take out of that short chat? "No mom! Say sheep! Not lamb!" Apparently he doesn't know that a lamb is a baby sheep. And apparently that is all he took out of my little illustration. 

With the lion photo, I told him the dad lion takes care of his cub and ensure's that his cub is safe and fed. Caleb didn't care about this. He cared only for how that cub got on that steep incline of a mountain. He kept asking me "how that cub got up that steep mountain". I told him that perhaps the dad lion carried him in his mouth, caring for him once again, and that this could be an example of love. He didn't care about my lesson. And I am sure I was stretching it with these pics. It's okay. I made an effort and am amused at the whole outcome.

As a side note, you might have noticed my reoccurring theme about teaching about Jesus through this holiday as I did for Christmas. I think that most holidays have something to say about Jesus, and I want to highlight that if possible. Yes, with this holiday I wanted to focus on caring for others and what it looks like to show others love. I don't think I really succeeded with that, but it's fine and hopefully it improves when he is older. Maybe we can do some acts of kindness or something like that. We'll see. 

This year I put up streamers on his door as a special Valentines thing to do, and I put up cut out paper hearts around the apartment. He liked locating them and having me read what some of them said. I wrote a few random things on them. We also read Valentine's Day books and read over scriptures about love. 

Scriptures of love free printable found here. Scroll to the bottom of the blog entry to click the link at the bottom. Here is what the first page looks like:

Caleb had a lot of fun at school with his friends, and at home with us. I think he enjoyed the day as much as Christmas. 

These lessons of love should be taught year round. It is just a good time to highlight it. :) And it is something for us to work on always. 

This last photo is of Caleb's first year celebrating the Chinese New Year!