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saying “yes” on Valentine’s Day

I’m not known for getting too festive, but this Valentine’s Day I did a little more than nothing.

Each child got a gift to their liking;  Olivia- a pair of comfy Marvel socks and ear phones, Paul- a Pokemon XY card set, Faith- the Frozen CD (and no I don’t regret it, yet) and Seth- Super Buddies DVD ( I couldn’t resist the golden retriever puppies dressed in capes and masks. )  Dave and I exchanged treats too with him getting extra points for chocolate covered strawberries.

Anyway, Valentine’s Day fell on a Friday this year and it was a teacher workday, so no school for the kids.  When I realized this I knew I needed a plan… what could I do with the kids on this holiday?  Make sugar cookies?  No, I don’t like to make sugar cookies…  Wait, Clair… this is about the kids, not you.  The question is not, “what would you like to do?” but “how could you show the kids love on this Valentine’s Day?”   Make sugar cookies?  Yep. This would be the real gift to them.  Isn’t the true spirit of giving best demonstrated when one sacrifices her own wants/comfort for the happiness of another?  (Ah… light bulbs are going off and decades of church attendance are paying off.) You see, I almost never make sugar cookies because it seems to be such a time-consuming and tedious process (not to mention messy— flour all over the table and sprinkles that you will be sweeping up for days after you thought you had already gotten the last of them.) Anyway, whenever someone suggests it, I usually say “no.”

I’ve recently read some great articles about “saying yes.”  Samantha Hines’ “Say Yes” piece from The Creative Mama really struck a chord with me last year, and I’ve recently been given the gift to reflect on the topic some more after reading “Saying Yes More Often” by Ginger Unzueta.  While the kids didn’t actually ask to make sugar cookies (surely, they had given up hope long ago,) I still felt like initiating this project was a way for me to say “yes,” and that is what I wanted to do.  Yes, I would rather see the kids smiling and talking with each other rather than staring at a screen of some sort.   Yes, I would like to spend 7 hours making cookies that will be gone in a couple of days, because I want to spend that time with my children who are growing up oh-so-quickly.  Yes, I’ll let go of the worry about the mess because we will be making a memory which lasts longer than messes.  ”Remember that one Valentine’s Day when we made the heart shaped sugar cookies and everyone was getting all creative, especially Dad who made stripes with the frosting and even got into a little sgraffito action?”  ”Remember when we learned that purple wasn’t the easiest color to make with frosting and we ended up with more of a gray?”  ”Remember the day after Valentine’s Day when we subsisted on sugar cookies and leftover pizza?”  (Wait… that last memory is one I’d rather forget.)

So here’s to saying “yes” more, and bon appetit!

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