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Mom's Time Out

Valentine's Day

Abigail Shiyer

(2/2010) I think Valentine's Day means something different for just about everyone. Depending on one's age, beliefs and current situation in life the thought of Valentine's Day could evoke emotions ranging anywhere from exciting to depressing.

What are you looking forward to this Valentine's Day? Is it exchanging "be mine" cards and candy with friends? Is it going out to dinner with your special someone? Or do you have loftier goals? Are you looking for that special piece of jewelry? Or a romantic night out? Or just dinner and a movie? Maybe you will be planning a romantic getaway with your Valentine? Or maybe Valentine's Day will come and go and you will never give it a second thought. There have been times in my past where I would have fit into any of those situations.

Or - Maybe you are one of the lucky ones… Maybe you are blessed with young children in your life who give you unconditional love and joy every day. Maybe the sheer thought of Valentine's Day makes you feel happy because you are fortunate enough to share love like you never knew existed. It is funny how children tend to change you in a way that can't be explained. Things that were once important - don't matter so much anymore. And on the other hand, things that you never even thought about before are front and center in your mind.

For me, and probably a lot of other mothers of young children - my perfect Valentine's Day will go something like this:

My 1½ year old will wake up first. He will stand up in his crib and yell, "Mom", "Maaaum", "Mommy", "Mameee", "Mom - Get Me". This will go on for as long as it takes me to get myself out of bed, put my slippers on and whiz down the hall to his room to get him before his sister hears him and wakes up. He will smile at me and say, "Hi Mom" and ask for milk. When I pick him up out of the crib first thing in the morning, I will get the best hug anyone could ever hope for. He and I will go down to the kitchen and spend some quality time together for about an hour before anyone else gets up. It is a very special time - we start our day together, we talk about what we want for breakfast and what we will do today. We usually laugh at the cat for some reason or another and we always say I love you several times every morning.

About an hour later, I will hear another little voice calling my name. She is a four-year-old and doesn't need me to help her out of bed, but she likes me to greet her and carry her down the steps. I do it happily because I know some day not so far away, she will be too big for me to carry - and for now we both love it.

Valentine's Day will be just like any other day for me - but, I plan to spend the day appreciating these little Valentine's that have taken over my life. The kids will enjoy making and giving cards. And - who knows - we may even make some cupcakes or special heart shaped cookies.

That evening won't be spent waiting an hour or so to get into some fancy restaurant. We won't be stressed about spending way too much money on a meal that we will forget about tomorrow. We won't be going to the movies or asking for extravagant gifts. I doubt we will see any chocolate or flowers. - and that is just fine. We will spend a very "special" evening together as a family - much like every other evening. We will have dinner and retire to the family room where we will play and color and dance and laugh and enjoy another evening at home together.

When it is time to put the kids to bed, I will get some of the most awesome hugs and kisses any woman could ever ask for. I am a Mom and there is no better love than the love of a child. And there is no better feeling than having children to love. I have learned that a person cannot be happy unless they have someone to love. I have also learned that a person cannot be happy unless someone loves them back.

I wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day. Go out there and love and be loved and enjoy the day in whatever way feels right for you. I would like to share this beautiful poem by Helen Steiner Rice. It is called 'A Mother's Love' and it is so true.

A Mother's Love

A Mother's love is something
that no one can explain,
It is made of deep devotion
and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away . . .

It is patient and forgiving
when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters
even though the heart is breaking . . .

It believes beyond believing
when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty
of the rarest, brightest gems . . .

It is far beyond defining,
it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret
like the mysteries of creation . . .

A many splendored miracle
man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence
of God's tender guiding hand.

Read other articles by Abigail Shiyer