When I was growing up on Tulip Grove Drive, my bus stop was at the end of my driveway. When the bus came, it was literally door to door. I remember getting excited every year, looking out the bus window upon my arrival home at the appearance of the big red cardboard heart taped to the inside of the storm door window. Every pink heart and doily made me anticipate the big day. Maybe I would have a secret admirer. Maybe a box of chocolates would appear in my desk at school. Or flowers, in a long white box, with a giant red bow tied around it. How great would that be!
I made Valentines for all of my classmates. I still remember the year that I signed "Love, Erin" to every one's cards. I was accused of having crushes on every boy. I was mortified, and knew from there on in, I would simply sign just my name. Never again would I use "Love" so frivolously.
I was always a romantic. Even watching The Love Boat on Saturday nights, when there would be a moonlight kissing scene, I just gushed. I would watch the woman's lip glossed mouth, and the way the lovebirds would gaze at each other, and dream of the day, when I too would be in "love". Would I be presented with a box from a jewelry store along with my giant heart of candy, and long stemmed roses? A fancy dinner, perhaps, in a red checkered table clothed restaurant?
I did give my love frivolously as I got older. I fell for the wrong men, exactly twice. A few Valentines Day spent alone, waiting for a flower delivery that never came. A few really good ones in between, but just not with my true love. Like when I was younger, I still knew he was out there. He just had not arrived.
Before kids,David and I shared many great Valentines Days. I got my fancy dinners, and flower deliveries, cards and even a box from a jewelry store. After kids...well...you know how that goes. Dinners home, complete with kids begging for a bite. The boxes of flowers replaced with a supermarket bouquet, which really, I prefer. They have been the best of my life.
Now, my girls get excited when they see our red cardboard heart taped to the door. Helping them fill out their cards now replaces my own Valentines Day planning.
With a strict insistence they just sign their name.
Don't use that word "Love" so frivolously.