Valentines Day can be celebrated a number of different ways and it’s meaning and purpose changes as our lives and roles evolve. This does not diminish the significance, but it does change the context, so I thought I would share a few different approaches to Valentines Day that may spark some ideas, certainly, but mainly shows how Valentines Day has morphed over time and circumstance for me.
Yesterday was a landmark day, I did two things:
1. I finished my getting all my holiday decorations up when I purchased an extension cord, this allowing us to turn on the lights (see lead image) and yes, we did correct the slanted star (see second image below)
2. I finished my gift shopping
Last week my daughter turned twelve, and every year we do two parties: one for friends and one for family. My daughter is an incredibly creative spirit and has always liked her parties to reflect her personality and what she’s currently obsessed with–this is always a (fun) challenge for me, the Mom, as we attempt to find something unique, fun and thematic to her tastes and passions. We started by going through her favorite things–theater, art, music–and talked about a few different ideas for each: taking friends to a Broadway show, doing a karaoke thing (again–Oh No!), or doing an art themed celebration. And then I remembered her love of photography. She’s on Instagram, takes pictures of EVERYTHING and as soon as I mentioned it, she was game! But how to have a “Photography Party”? Good question.
So it’s been a while since my last post, I know. But this one is a doosey I can assure you and may explain my absence in part… “Entering Womanhood” means different things to different people and in different cultures and I will spare you the gory details of what it means in mine but suffice it to say it’s one to be celebrated. I meant to write this earlier in the weekend but I kept crying every time I started.
However this moment is “checked off”–as a social occasion, a rite of passage, or a biological one–it’s bound to be emotional and one you don’t want to forget. So remember the day, month and year and do something special together. The idea is to do something experiential, open the lines of communication and begin a new dialogue that hopefully will continue as she–and you–embark on this new period (pardon the pun) of her life together. Most importantly she will come away knowing she can come to you and that you’re there for her no matter what. As my husband and I say to each other: All in, as is. In my experience, that’s what love is, any way you slice it.
In my day I begged my mother for a Trapper Keeper…anyone else remember those? Mine had kittens on them — similar to the image below with the puppies but with, well kittens) — and I LOVED it. Today middle schoolers at my daughters school are encouraged to have laptops, that’s right laptops and both my kids are connected with phones, tablets and computers and we are in constant connection with them from the moment they leave the house until the moment we come home from work. So the real question was what cases should they get this year?
My husbands favorite commercial is that Staples Back to school spot where the Dad is dancing in the aisle to the holiday tune “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year” and the kids look miserable drudging behind him. Every year he waits for that commercial to begin airing again because it makes him laugh out loud and it does mean school is almost back in session and normalcy can return to our home. But even will I miss the lazy days of letting them sleep late (so I get to sleep a bit late too), a later routine so dinner isn’t at 5:30 which means, as a working mom, I get a shot at eating with my family and the promise of a sun-kissed weekend.
I don’t believe in buying comfort or joy, but I think it’s always nice to kick off back to school with a thematic gift that the kids can use during the year. Oh, and for your viewing pleasure, that Staples commercial is at the bottom of all my picks… enjoy 🙂
I hate to admit it but a hefty shopping trip is often times my cardio for the day–hey, don’t judge lest you be judged. I do live in the city so walking 40 blocks with 4-5 bags in tow is no easy feat, so I can get an elevated heart rate and break a sweat especially in the August heat but recently I’ve been hit with a wave of gratitude that has me looking for more ways to give back and it’s so much more fun to do so when it involves something you enjoy. For me, it’s shopping and gift-giving.
Here are some ways to do both while also giving to others in need.