The age at which children comprehend the commercial side of valentines day never cease to amaze me, it simply boggles my mind that such young kidlets are requesting that their parents purchase roses and exorbitant gifts for classmates they may have a fondness towards after a whole 5 minutes of knowing one another =)
I think Loghan was in Grade R the first time he asked me to help put together a valentines gift for a girl who traveled in his lift club- I wasn't all to happy about it but he was so excited and thus I relented-chocolates a card lovingly made by hand and a few other goodies lovingly wrapped also by hand, he could not wait to present it to her the morning of valentines day that year.
I remember how he ran to the combi and basically thew the gift into her arms with excitement and all this little girl did was look it and shrug- my mommy heart broke and I was a tad peeved to say the least simply because I knew how much love and care had gone into the gift- I waved goodbye to my frowning somewhat defeated son and they drove off- later that day he said that she had thanked him and she made him a card in return in hindsight I think she was more embarrassed than anything else at the time I shouldn't have been so quick to jump to conclusions especially given that I don't agree with the concept of valentines day to begin with- but my mommy heart overthrew my logic that day as it does on many occasions.
As the years have gone on I have tried to instill in my boys that it really is just another day and if they want to acknowledge a certain friend on Valentines day a simple card with an uplifting message included is more than enough- I just don't think it right to pair gifts and adoration or admiration in the same grouping, I can think of at least one couple who I know (am not friends with) who do that the big gifts, the constant over the top look at us our relationship is #goals validation- in my view whilst I think its great to share tokens of thanks and appreciation with our partners and loved ones, one should not expect or see the need for a gift or gifts as a means to validate or encourage affection or friendship.
In other words I do not want my children to grow up feeling like they need to buy gifts or expensive items in order to gain someone else's good graces, if I were raising girls I would not raise them to believe that they should expect or ask for or imply that they need tokens or gifts in exchange for their affection- and I would want my children to learn and appreciate the thought and love that comes from a handmade card or a friendly gesture- times are not always going to be perfect there may come a time when they have their own families or even when they are dating when they as a pair or individuals are going through a hard time and may not have the money or graces to give and that is ok, they need to understand that it is ok, I also do not want to encourage them to acknowledge one day of over commercialized affection with their partner- a relationship is something fostered over time something that should hold affection throughout the year not just for one day....
Of course Loghan in particular is a hard one to crack in this regard as token or gifts and praise are his love languages, for him the giving and receiving of gifts is the ultimate way of displaying and receiving affection and I can only encourage him to understand why it is important to see it from both sides and to understand that whilst giving gifts and showering another person with praise etc can be wonderful and great- of course partners should show each other love and affection- it does not need to be done through overpriced gifts or a commercialized holiday... I am honestly not sure if I am even making sense, I may even be rambling on about the same thing but here we are I love to ramble....
Look quite honestly when I was younger the idea of valentines days was sweet and innocent and I understand why children are so taken with it- I also understand why retailers are targeting their products at children because Suzie or George runs to mommy and mommy doesn't want to break their child's heart before it has even had the chance, but I will continue my 'fight' and hopefully my boys will carry what I am trying to teach them into their own families one day.