Mothers are the people who love us for no good reason. And those of us who are mothers know it's the most exquisite love of all. - Maggie Gallagher
When your name is Valentine, it holds a special meaning when February 14th rolls around. People get tickled when you answer the phone at work. Even people who call you regularly are sort of caught off guard when they but two and two together. I remember taking a tour of an elementary school and I didn’t pay attention to what day I would be there. Observing a classroom was a part of the tour and the children couldn’t believe that Mrs. Valentine was visiting their class on Valentine’s Day. The most fun thing about this day is that when the guys were young, the class exchanged valentines. The dear teachers always had a project to celebrate so I still have some of the wonderful creations the fellas made many years ago – they are among my treasures.
Back then, those were the only Valentines I would receive but we were never ones to get too carried away with that type of thing. When you get married on Valentine’s Day, really how can you top that? With all of the busyness of raising three sons, getting a Valentine’s card is the last thing that holds any importance…until you get a card. My late first lady was famous for writing beautiful notes and cards to encourage you. One year she sent me a Valentine to me. It was a simple card with her beautiful penmanship. The impact came in knowing that with everything she had going on, she took the time to find a card, sign it and mail it to me. That was 20 years ago, but I still have and cherish that card. When you are so focused on the important work of raising adults, (sacrificing your own maintenance) it was nice to know that someone was thinking about me.
Ever since they started working in high school/college, my fellas have been generous in making sure I have flowers several times during the year - Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Easter and of course for my birthday. With my youngest being overseas, one year he sent me roses for that country’s Queen’s birthday which is a four day weekend celebration of their Mother’s Day. I am also so appreciative for the “just because” flowers. I don’t want any flowers at my funeral. Let me enjoy them while I am alive.
Getting flowers is not a direct correlation of the amount of love I receive from my guys. They are generous with their time and concern for their “ol’ ma”. I appreciate this so very much. While I have one here with me, the bookends are careful to check in regularly so we can catch up and stay in tune with what is going on in their worlds. Not only are they generous with me, but also with their friends and kindred. I know that as they get older and have families of their own, this contact may be less frequent. This is the ‘leave and cleave’ deal you agree to when you have children, especially male children. As holidays roll by I cherish the time with my guys, knowing that there will be holidays when I won’t have all three together under one roof at the same time. Seeing them take care of their own families will be a joy for me – it means they understand the responsibility of being the leader of their home.
While I was writing this post, I thought I was going to have to confess that this was the first Valentine’s Day that I hadn’t received flowers. This certainly wouldn’t have been a tragedy because I know I have 3 wonderful young men who love me unconditionally.
Wait for it…a few days later the bouquet arrived. They contained my favorites – tulips. It’s a blessing that they know what my favorite flowers are, especially since tulips are not available all year round. I don’t consider the bouquet late because, after all, every day is Valentine’s Day in this house.