Follow by Email

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My little Valentines

I've been married for almost 15 years and though my hubby-man is my sun, moon, stars, and favorite hot cocoa, we've never made that big a deal about Valentine's Day. We have our anniversary in April, and come February we've just survived Christmas gift giving, so other than a funny-sexy card and an excuse to go out to dinner sometime that week, Valentines Day isn't a big deal for the two of us.

A few years ago, however, I started giving valentines to my kids. One year I made little heart pouch things and hung them on their doorknobs full of M&M's--big hit. Another year I wrote down 50 things I loved about them and put them in a jar titled "What I love about you" there was no candy involved so it wasn't quite as fun, but the kids still have them . . . somewhere. And for the last two years I've put little hearts all over their bedroom doors the night before, giving them a heart attack. I then used the letters of their names to come up with some of my favorite things about them.

Two years ago, in May, I had to drop something off to a friend of mine. She worked night shift and had asked that I quietly put it inside her door rather than ring the bell or risk leaving it on the porch. My four year old came with me and when we got back the car she asked me why I went in that ladie's house without knocking.

"Well, she works at night so she's sleeping right now and I don't want to wake her up."

"She works at night?" my daughter repeated, still rather confused.

"Yes, she has a job, like Daddy does, only it's at night time."

"But she's a mom," my daughter said.

I've worked off and on throughout my marriage, but both my husband and I have tried very hard to keep me at home--which is my favorite place to be. I realized that this child had never known a time when I wasn't home so I explained a bit more. "She is a mom," I said. "A very good mom, that's why she's sleeping now while her kids are at school, so she can wake up when they get home. But she works another job to earn money."

"And she works her job at night?"

"Yep," I said. "At night."

"Sometimes you go to work at night."

I figured she was talking about a writing conference I'd been to a few weeks earlier when I'd been gone for a few days. "No, I don't work at night. Sometimes I go away for a few days to, uh, school, but I don't work."

"Yes you do, like that time you put hearts on our door when we were sleeping. That was work."

For me this was ultimate validation. That is my work, my main work, and the fact that I spend hours a day pursuing my career hasn't taken away the fact that my daughter sees my 'work' as her and our family. It was one of those moments that drove me to my knees and helped me thank my Father in Heaven for the bounty he has given me in the role of mother to these amazing spirits.


Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

Oh my, what a lovely, lovely moment!

Stephanie Humphreys said...

Isn't it great when our kids give us the validation we seem to need. And I love all the neat things you've done for your kids for Valentine's Day

C.J. said...

Something really weird happened to me when I got to the punch line of your story. I started to cry. Could it be because my little girl was four not that long ago and here she is 23, almost 24, and living in Argentina. Very sweet.

Marcia Mickelson said...

What a sweet, sweet post. Thanks for sharing it.

Autumn Ables said...

Mushy, mushy, oh so MUSHY. I love it!

I love the conversation between you and your daughter and I love that you did such a sweet thing for a friend. I especially love that you do things for your little peple on Valentines. I do too, it makes them feel loved and special.

My daddy would not only buy my mother roses but one single rose for us girls every Valentines. Ohh! How that made my little heart swell with pride!

Luisa Perkins said...

What a sweet story! It's all worth it, isn't it?

Tristi Pinkston said...

Awesome post!

So, why don't you have a link here to *my* review of Sheep's Clothing? Huh? Huh?

In case you forgot it, here's the link:

I mean, that's why I do this, you know. :)

Janette Rallison said...

Now I feel like a bad mother. I always plan to do something for Valentines day and only do something half the time.

You Rock

Tamra Norton said...

Aaaaw--how sweet! And what a great moment. :)

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

Great post Josi! Those validation moments are often few and far between.

Annette Lyon said...

It's sweet moments like that that make this motherhood gig so worth it.

Yvonne said...

I loved the things you have done for your kids for Valentine's Day.

Being a wife and a mother is the best work possible. What a beautiful story--thank you so much for sharing it.

Unknown said...

awh josi,
that melted me. beautiful what she said. i love it.

and i will never forget how you made me laugh so hard about that toe curling meme when you said that is a jump your husband kind of moment! still cracks me up to remember!! good to hear from you today. thanks for being just adorable with me. take care girl, kathleeny :)

Julie Wright said...

Josi that is just so cute. You are such a good mom!

Jenna said...

Ahhhhhh! So beautiful! What a precious child, Josi, to see things that way! You made me appreciate my work, too.

Unknown said...

hi sweet josi,

you will love reading this post by amanda in case you have not seen this already. it is about mr darcy.

kathleen :)

Scribbit said...

What a sweet thing for her to say--makes you feel like it's all worthwhile doesn't it?

Jordan McCollum said...

Valentine's day isn't a big deal for me and DH either, but you've inspired me to do more for my kids as they get older. My parents have always sent us chocolates and cards. That's so sweet of your daughter--amazing that she noticed!

(And aren't you glad you have this memory recorded for posterity and the times when she'll be a teenager screaming "I HATE YOU"?)

Congrats on the honorable mention!

Mozi Esme said...

Mommyhood - the most important, most challenging, most rewarding job of all... Very sweet that she gets it! I love your note ideas.