Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine's Day Isn't Just for Lovers

She has spent almost an hour cutting and pasting at the kitchen table without my help. Glitter, the herpes of crafting is everywhere and hearts of all shapes and sizes are being fabricated on the kitchen table. She keeps shooing me away and tells me to go work on the computer for awhile. "I've got this under control" she tells me. In fact, each time I have come into the kitchen she covers up the top secret project she is clearly making for me.

Eventually she comes out of the kitchen with it behind her back. She thrusts her heart out to me and I couldn't help but smile and go on about it's beauty.

My daughter wants to be my Valentine and I am more than okay with that. 

She's made something that expresses her love and that is the best kind of valentine I could hope for. You see, we love each other and that is what Valentine's Day is supposed to be about, love. Some would argue that it is only for lovers and that a card from their own daughter implies some sort of sexual attraction.

With that argument it makes me wonder if my son makes me a valentine does that imply that he is gay? No. That's crazy. Love is not always directly related to sex.  I love many people in my life that I am not attracted to sexually. Valentine's Day, while a "holiday" created by card companies to generate revenue it still is a day to express the love you have for significant others, friends, and family.

The ones that only see Valentine's Day for lovers are usually the same guys who have trouble with dads going on daddy-daughter dates or attending a sweetheart dance with them as their father. They end up going begrudgingly and don't dance with their daughters and shy away from the whole experience. They probably are the same guys that don't dance with their wives at weddings either. If you are one of those guys, you're blowing it. You're losing out on opportunities to show the people in your lives that they are loved even if it means you make a fool of yourself doing the Sprinkler in the process.

I love my wife because of my attraction to her but more so because of the way she makes me feel about myself and our relationship. I love my friends for the way they encourage me. I love my family for the way they support me. These are all different ways to feel loved.

My grandma used to send me valentines. Beneath the crisp five dollar bill that was so new, ink would be left behind on the card, were X's and O's with a note that said she missed seeing me and hoped I was well. My in-laws and parents have always done it for my own children and still do. Getting something from someone you have affection for? That's love.

Love comes in many forms and to feel loved is the best feeling. After all, it is what we most seek out as humans, to be able to feel a connection with the people around us. A love based purely on the sexual will never fulfill our desires to feel complete. In Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, physiological needs are low on the scale, with the feeling of being loved and connected much higher. Meeting those needs will help us feel like we belong. If making a valentine for her Daddy makes her feel special, I will gladly sweep up all that glitter though I despise it.

That valentine means everything to my daughter and me. It's like posting your heart on the refrigerator door to say "I love you and you are loved back" Valentines are expression of love, nothing more, nothing less. They will make her feel loved whether she is giving it to me, a friend that gives one back, or a card from her grandparents.  Even after I have given her away and she has found another person to give her heart to, I hope I will always still be her Valentine.

1 comment:

  1. I send my daughter flowers every year on valentines and have since her first. No matter what she will always have me to love her on that day.