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A Valentine's Day Card for Cupid

Happy Valentine's Day, Mom

Dear Cupid,

Forgive me for butting in on your business, this being a hectic time of year for you. But I had to write about something that has been bothering me in the years since I became a mom: 

If you haven’t noticed, your holiday has been hijacked.

By other little people who don’t sport wings and a bow and arrow. Three of them reside in my house and they’re not remotely ready for the idea of romance. Yet they’ve co-opted what should be a couples celebration for their own purposes.

For instance, have you ever noticed on February 14 how my husband hurries to leave love notes on the breakfast table for our daughters and in his haste forgets to even tell me good-bye? And the grandparents send along cards and candy hearts for the kids while the love of my life gives me . . . nothing?

It seems your powers of attraction have been redirected to cause parents to overexert themselves in being sure on this day of days that their children know they are cherished. They’re moved to gush over their offspring, whom they already cuddle and coddle. They shower the kids with hugs, gifts, attention. And at the end of it all, they give their conspirator in the scheme called “family” an exhausted peck on the cheek and a quick “love ya, Hon!”

For once, dear Cupid, I’d like to wake to flowers on my bureau and Champagne in the fridge.

I’d be thrilled to break out a dress and heels for dinner on the town at a restaurant that doesn’t serve chicken fingers. I could use a special day where the cards and wishes flowed only between my sweetheart and me.

Actually Cupid, what I really wish is that you had given a heads-up for what was to come. I would have squeezed in more romantic fondues. I would have taken more chilly moonlit strolls and splurged on that carriage ride. I would have fussed more over gifts of tenderness in that brief span of years.

Then again, in those days I probably wouldn’t have believed your warnings. After all, I was too smitten to imagine that bringing little people into our lives could do anything but multiply our devotion to each other. 

Which in a way, it has. I have so much more to appreciate about my husband now. Like the way he can create a fishtail braid in a young girl’s slippery tresses. Or how he gently glues the heads back onto tiny plastic princess dolls to restore them for his own princesses. And have you seen how he bristles over the mention of a boy by our tween-aged daughter?

Yet for all the devotion and love flowing in our household, I wish I could, for one Valentine’s Day again, be the center of someone’s world. To attract again all that affection to myself. Which is 
why you should do something to reclaim your holiday for romance.

So what do you think? Will you take back Valentine’s Day from the youngsters?

If not, I guess I’d settle for a box of chocolates and some extra snuggles from my girls. And doting drawings. And “I love you”s. In fact, I don’t think I could keep myself from loving the children in my house for a whole day anyway. And their dad. Let’s not forget him.

Lara Krupicka is a parenting journalist and mom of three, who enjoys doting on her husband of 17 years when she’s not focused on the kids.

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