Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. How do you celebrate it with your kids?

Let me share with you a tradition that I have my kids do every year. From the moment they could start scribbling on a piece of paper, I’ve asked my kids to write me a letter.

I don’t want a store bought card that Dad will buy for them to give to me, and I don’t want a gift. For me, a handwritten letter allows me to absorb each kids way of expressing themselves to me. Reading it from a piece of paper ripped off from one of their notebooks makes it even better.

I try to instill in them the importance of the thought not the actual gift. The thought is the gift I want. I get to take all these beautiful letters and store them in a special box. My happy box.

I read their thoughts. What’s in their minds. How every year, in their letters they would write “Thank you, Mom”. And that thank you is followed with all the things they are grateful for. One of my sons wrote….“Thank you Mom for giving me food.”

How cute! He did not use the word cooking or serving. He said giving me food. For him, food is love. Of course it’s love! Everything a mother does is from love. Cooking is one of my love language.

And that is why I ask my kids to write me a letter. Tell me what’s your translation of love. Let me know how you feel. Learn to express them. But as they got older. The letters got shorter. Which I didn’t mind. Because now, they all have girlfriends and I have to be accepting of the divided attention. One son wrote to me, “Mom, I may have a girlfriend now, but do remember that you will always be my Valentine ❤.”

I thought that was cute too.

Reading the letters makes my heart melts. It’s a keepsake I will treasure for the rest of my life. From seeing their little scribbles, drawings, and hard to read misspelled words, to now deeper written, heartfelt letters are signs of them growing and maturing.

Although the letters are no longer a whole ripped white page of paper from their notebooks, it is still a wonderful feeling knowing that every year, I will get to read their thoughts. Just to know that they took time to sit down and write is already a gift! So that being said, it is the gift of time.

And speaking of time… I’ll never forget this incident one Valentine morning. My son walked in the kitchen, gave me a kiss and a hug then said …“Get dressed Mom, I’m taking you out to breakfast.” I was completely floored! It’s something I would hear coming from my husband. We had a one on one date. The following year it was my other son who took me out for lunch. It is really sweet to know that you can be your son’s “Valentine”.

It was the thought and time spent together that became the gift. A precious gift that will always stay in my memory.