Small Gestures of Love

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Ok I’ll spill.  I love Valentine’s Day.  Not the overpriced version, though, where restaurants charge triple so they can serve you mashed potatoes shaped like hearts.  I’m enamoured of the little symbols that can make our hearts swell over. I’m a romantic.  I love romance. I love love, and I love thinking about love.  While yeah, sure, people should be nice to each other every day, its sort of great that there’s one day where you can act like you’re in a chick flick and get away with it.  Now, I’m not saying you need to go big or go home.  It can really be the small things that are the most meaningful. I won’t say I grew up bereft of affection, but my mother isn’t really a touchy feely sort of person.  She was busy with four kids and all the lovely stresses that life has to offer.  But, she always tried to make Valentine’s Day special.  Even when we were completely awful teenagers, a little package of cinnamon hearts was waiting for us when we awoke on Valentine’s morning.  For a person uncomfortable with affection, this small gesture was a way that she could show us that she loved us and was thinking about us on this day made for hugging. My husband is not completely down with PDA (Public Displays of Affection for those who didn’t grow up watching the Brat Pack).  He doesn’t buy me flowers, and his idea of romance often takes the form of grabbing my boob at inopportune times.  But, he means well, he really does, and I know he loves me, because when we have a dinner party he cleans up the whole mess (Nobody can toss a kitchen like I can).  On Valentine’s Day, I get a card from him.  Once, he got me jewelry, but now we have three kids.  He has bought me roses, but only six, because, I mean, why buy a dozen, right?  Last year, my card was obviously from the dollar store.  And, I’m pretty sure that he didn’t have his reading glasses, because it was a teddy bear holding balloons and the caption read, ‘To my friend on Valentines Day.’ I like to not let him forget it, but in reality, I was touched. Because he went to the store and bought the card.  As I said, small gestures… I’m a big deal maker on Valentines Day.  I took my mother’s sentiment of the cinnamon hearts, and blew it up to gigantic proportions.  The kids get chocolates, a teddy bear, gifts, and two cards (one funny, one sappy.)  The husband gets the same, plus, you know, maybe some ‘candy’ too.  I thought maybe I was going overboard on the stuff for the children, until one day, I found the sappy card I bought my daughter (whose affection tolerance closely resembles my mother’s and her father’s) hanging up in her room.  And all the cards I’d ever given her were in a box under her bed. I’ll take a small gesture like that any day. My Dad takes the prize for the best Valentine’s Day ever.  I was in first year University, far from home, and a bit homesick.  Somehow he sensed it, because right on the day, a giant box arrived for me. It was full of heart-themed goodies:  Chocolates, cards, teddy bears, and a sweatshirt with the Queen of Hearts on it.  His thinking of me, organizing it, and making sure it arrived right on time was the BIGGEST small gesture ever. When it comes to love, it’s not about the size of the gift, but how many kisses you put in the the wrapping paper.  Happy Valentine’s DAY!! For more Mara (I mean, why wouldn’t you want more?): Twitter: @chickymara Pinterest: Mara_Shapiro Blog:  Be Nice or Leave Thanks and Parent Our Teens

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