Valentine’s Day. I have many memories of Valentine’s Day and few of them are pleasant. I remember opening the traditional cardboard box of valentine cards, I usually got the superheroes or funny comics, and it was a painstaking, dilemma filled, gut wrenching, anguishing process to decide who got what valentine. Similar to the “War Room” of an NFL team during the draft, but filled with candy and hearts. And indecision.
Valentine’s Day. The day when you let someone else’s voice declare your interest, love, crush, warm gooey filling for some other person. A day when you competed not only to be the most desirable, but to offer the best candy, card, or other arrangement.
Valentine’s Day. I think it is Latin for stress.
Now it is different…but still stressful for me. My wife and I play it smart – we don’t “celebrate” it, We might take full advantage of the sale on candy the day after, but we don’t buy cards, flowers, or go out to dinner the day of. We don’t stress about the right gift or card.
This stress is different.
My daughter is now in school. One day she may be the one that some classmate is stressing over, or maybe, one day, she may be anguishing over the dilemma of how to present the cheap cards, that I allow her to buy, to her perceived hierarchy in class.
I’m not ready for this. I am too young for this stress. I’m not ready to deal with suitors. I have been, however, practicing the scene from Bad Boys II ( I can’t post it here as some of the language is questionable, and we are trying to keep it G rated for our audience), but Valentine’s Day has me thinking about how I am actually going to react.
Not just for my daughter, but my son as well. Their first real crushes, dates, times when they get their hearts broken, times they are on cloud nine.
I guess I am getting ahead of myself. Maybe it is the flashbacks of the “Yes, No, or Maybe” boxes that I diligently wrote on the back of my Spiderman cards (you know you did that too). Maybe it is a fear of not being ready.
Or maybe it is a fear that my time with my kids is not long enough – that eventually some crush will take them away from me.
For now, I am going to enjoy the fact that the best part of the day seemed to be that my daughter was excited that she had extra valentines left over. They were pink dog tag looking things with “Will you be my friend” handwritten (my wife’s penmanship) on the back. No “love”, no “like”, no “crush”, no “Yes, No Maybe”.
I guess Valentine’s Day is really as good or bad as we make it. I should probably stop worrying and enjoy the candy that will be on clearance on Saturday.
Happy Valentine’s Day from the Balcony Dads.