Valentine's Day is done for another year. Buh-bye. It's a funny day, isn't it? In some ways it's actually a really dumb day. There. I said it.
I think it's a fabulous day for being a first grader. Remember scrawling the names of all your classmates and stuffing their construction-paper created envelope or boxes? And then digging through your envelope and reading all the corny Valentines? And eating all the waxy chocolate and heart-shaped sugar cookies with so many sprinkles on them that they could chip your teeth? And having zero regret about all the chocolate you ate? Yeah, good times.
We've had some great Valentine times over the years, my Valentine and I. But the overwhelming majority of the years, it's pretty much a day that comes with all the demands of a typical day. Then I want to make it special for the kids, so we get them their treats, make heart-shaped sandwiches and as many pink foods as I can come up with for their lunch and try to make a nice dinner. (I skipped the heart-shaped cake this year so I wouldn't eat too much.) And then the day comes to an end and I realize I'm wiped out from making the day special for everyone. And then there's all the work of picking open those nasty assorted chocolates hoping to find the one caramel in the box that's not polluted with any kind of fruity flavor swirl. Very rarely do we get any kind of Valentine date. I get flowers, which I love. But I rarely get time, which I hunger for.
Well, this year we had about an hour and a half on the day before Valentine's Day that we had decided we would squish in our Valentine date. Let me re-phrase that for historical accuracy. We had about an hour and a half on the day before Valentine's Day that I had decided he would squish into taking me on a Valentine date. And the romance was raging as we headed over to....buy ourselves new running shoes! Aw...isn't it romantic?
I can honestly say that Brad's gift to me (actually I had a certificate for a free pair that I won in a drawing at a race this summer, which makes me a cheap date) makes my heart beat faster everytime I put them on. Not many gifts can literally make your heart beat wildly. Running shoes? Yes.
(And speaking of running...that half marathon is 3 months from today. Can I do this? My longest run yet was 7 miles on Saturday. And it makes my stomach flip and my heart start speeding up to even imagine 13.1. I'm just not sure about this. Some days I feel confident about it, mostly the days I don't run. Some days I feel like this is a pretty stupid thing to do.)
And back to Valentine's Day: perhaps my sweetest gift came from a chubby-faced first grade boy at school. He sweetly wished me a Happy Valentine's Day, then dug into the pocket of his jeans and pulled out this heart-shaped lollipop. Unwrapped. With pocket lint stuck all over it. And he was quite proud to present it to me. Sweetness. See? It really is a holiday meant for a child in the first grade.