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Saturday, February 13, 2010

St. Valentine's Day with Kids

by Kathleen Blease

(learn to make your own at

These last few days I have been pondering what I can write about St. Valentine's Day that could stir the soul and make it a memorable feast. But to tell you the truth, I don't have anything grand to tell you. (I think St. Valentine's life is testimony enough!) My favorite valentine memories are quite simple, and they revolve around our kids.

When our boys were little, my husband and I tried in vain to enjoy a romantic dinner for two at a posh restaurant, only to find it expensive and empty. Then it finally dawned on us what was missing--our kids! Perhaps it was the babysitter who had the best time, drawing and crafting with the kids while we dined in quiet surrounds.

Now, every year, my husband cooks a gourmet dinner. I set the table with china, linen, silver, and crystal, and the boys fashion valentines out of construction paper and stick glue. Candles stand at the center of the table. We eat, we drink (sparkling cider for the boys), we tell the boys stories of how we met, fell in love and married, and, of course, we share those times when we were anxiously expecting the arrival of our baby boys. The food and drink are wonderful. The company is terrific. And the valentines are adorable; each year they reflect the boys' ages, artistic abilities, and, of course, their sense of humor. To top off the evening, we savor chocolate-covered strawberries.

The pile of valentines I now have is growing, and the years are certainly rolling by! Now in their teens, our children still look forward to our traditional St. Valentine's Day feast here at home.

It all seems to make sense to me. I asked a little girl last week what she plans to do for St. Valentine's Day. She looked at me a little confused and said, "Oh, no. Valentine's Day is for grown-ups, not kids." I have to disagree. St. Valentine devoted himself to marriage and family. What better time to instill in our children how much we (husband and wife) love each other with tender devotion! What better time to throw open the heavy curtains of daily life and let your children see your warm, fuzzy, googly-eyed feelings for your sweetheart! It might become a habit. And, you know, they just might like it.

Happy St. Valentine's Day! God bless.

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