I have long disliked Valentine’s Day, have often derided it as the ultimate Hallmark holiday
But now that I have children, suddenly, I love it. It’s not just my abiding passion for the combination of red and pink. It’s also that I love having a day so focused on telling my children I love them. I don’t believe it’s possible for me to tell them that too much. As firmly, fiercely, as I agree with Jenn Mattern’s wise and beautiful description of why she refuses to teach her daughters that the world revolves around them, I also want Grace and Whit to know deep in their spirits that they are loved by me without exception, without pause, without end.
This reminds me of Peggy Noonan’s wonderful editorial after the 9/11 attacks, where she asserts something I believe deeply: expressing how we feel frequently doesn’t cheapen the words, but allows them to sink into the object of our affection’s very marrow. We are often told the opposite, that we ought not say “I love you” too much, as though somehow we might wear it out or drain it of meaning. I simply don’t agree with that. Noonan summarizes her point:
We’re all lucky to be here today and able to say what deserves saying, and if you say it a lot, it won’t make it common and so unheard, but known and absorbed.
So I’ll take today, this day of lunchboxes packed with sandwiches cookied cuttered into heart shapes, backpacks bursting with homemade Valentines, and red velvet cupcakes with whipped cream frosting to tell my children I love you, again, always, no matter what. I think we should all take the time to tell somehow we love that we do. Don’t wait, and don’t hesitate. You can’t say it too much.
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