Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day – boohoo!
Ok, no suprises here friends, it’s my annual Valentines Day Must fall post! Please do excuse this annual rant, by now you are all clear on how I feel about this day. I have made no secrets about it in the last 4 years, this is the stupidest day ever invented! Ok, before you stone me with heart shaped chocolates or send me wiki entries on the origin of this day, I capitulate that we cannot protect our schoolgoing children from the pressures of this day. Still, it is stupid in my view, because it ads unnecessary pressure to young little hearts, hearts that should not be broken (check it, there is a song idea right there!). But ok, this year I feel slightly empowered by something my sister told me.. I have a 7 year old daughter and I hate dropping her off at school on Valentine’s day. But I feel a bit better about it this year because – even though trying to stop Valentine’s day would be like like trying to hold the wind – it is still possible that maybe something good can come of it after all. Maybe a day like this gives us the opportunity to train our kids to notice all the little lonely hearts in their class. I remember as a youngster, I had no idea what other kids in my class where feeling or going through. I didn’t know that I was even supposed to notice, but now I wish I had! One of the cruellest characteristics of society and people is our desire to include some and exclude others, but maybe Valentine’s day is an opportunity for us to help our kids see that we should take every opportunity to correct that imbalance and be the kind of person that makes others feel included, not excluded. Maybe Valentine’s day is an opportunity to sensitise our kids to those in their class who sit on the sidelines, the wallflowers and underdogs of their little world. Maybe Valentines day is an opportunity to empower our kids to ensure that someone in their class who is often on the side-line also gets a little attention. So this year my 7 year old will go to school armed with gifts not just for those in her circle, but also specifically for those who find themselves in no one’s circle. An “Oprah”-fied Valentine’s day if you will, you know: “You get a prize! You get a prize! YOU get a prize! Everybody gets a prize!” As a dad I am sure it’s not to early for her to notice that surely we cannot fully enjoy the fact that we might be included if by definition that means the exclusion of others! If I can help her see that, then for me it can also be a “Happy Valentines Day” !