Sometimes I feel like I’m living in an episode of Donna Reed. My husband and I are sitting in the living room reading while my kids sit on the floor putting together a puzzle or playing a game. They’re laughing together, helping each other and I swear I can hear “My Favorite Things,” playing in the background. And then other times…
I feel like I’m in an episode of Jerry Springer. The kids are screaming at each other, blaming each other for all the tragedies in their lives and I’m just waiting for one of them to throw a punch. I’m not going to lie, it gets ugly. While I know they love each other, there are times it’s hard to remember that. Valentine’s Day is a great time to remind them of that love. The best way to love someone more is to serve them. We tried this last year and it was a great help for our kids. And while I’m sure they’ll continue to be best friends and worst enemies at the same time, this one week helps them make the best friends part last just a little longer.
Last year we purchased these rather adorable, plastic mailboxes from Target for $1 each. We added our names and decorated them with stickers. For some reason, my husband doesn’t think covering every inch with stickers is necessary. Weird.
Beginning one week before Valentine’s day, we did an act of service (big or small) for a member of the family. After, we wrote what we did on a small piece of paper and put it in the mailbox. We each did an act of service each day, leaving the description in the mailbox. We had the kids serve each other, while my husband and I did service for one another. Romance may have changed since having kids, but service helps us show love as well.
During Valentine’s Day dinner (We generally eat shrimp while the children indulge in macaroni and cheese), we open our mailboxes and read the acts of service that blessed us throughout the week. This helps us strengthen our bonds between each other and realize how blessed we are to have one another. I truly wish I could bottle that feeling for the next time one of our kids breathes on the other in the car. Live in each moment. Especially the blissful, peaceful moments.
Happy Valentine’s Day!