My oldest daughter Evie is 2.5 years old, and I'm looking forward to to celebrating Valentine's Day as she understands the love and fun of the holiday this year. Last year we celebrated by making dough hand prints, and this year we have celebrated all month long! I found a little tin mailbox (similar to this) and have been leaving goodies in there for her to find when she wakes in the morning. I'm a little overbearing about sweet treats, so her mailbox treasures have been stickers, cookie cutters, and fruit snacks. She doesn't know Valentine's Day is all about the candy for many, and I plan to keep it that way!
My girls are so little and are just as entertained by $1 bouncy balls as they are elaborate gifts, so my focus for them around any holiday is making memories and enjoying experiences together. I took Evie on a Starbucks date for some hot chocolate earlier this week while my mom watched Norah (as a side note, Evie spilled about half of her drink across various locations in the store. . .) We've made heart-shaped waffles and colored on pictures to share with her friends.
Those quiet demonstrations of love everyday make a greater impact than elaborate demonstrations on rare occasion. My brain is often pulled in so many directions that I frequently find myself physically present but mentally detached. I'm working on being mindfully present with those that I love. Our children are able to skillfully detect if we are really paying attention to them and their behavior is often an indicator of whether or not they feel seen and known. Let's see those sweet faces in front of us.
I hope you make some special memories with your loved ones this Valentine's. Showing our love doesn't have to be complicated- it just requires us to be present and thoughtful. Set aside just a few minutes this week for those you love and enjoy the moment. Laugh, hug, tell stories, watch Elmo, share a cookie. I would love to hear how you celebrate!