Sincerely Carolina

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My Four Valentines

by caroline

When I was younger, my dad was my favorite Valentine — my one and only. I would wake up in the morning to a card on my dresser or a heart cut out of construction paper, sitting next to a little treat. I had no idea that my mom was his Valentine too, or even my sister for that matter. I just knew that he was my Valentine.

When my two younger brothers came along, I was lucky enough to have three wonderful Valentines. My brothers would fill out Toy Story cards with their nickname for me scribbled in the “To” section. “I love you, Didee!” was all they needed to say to put a smile on my face.

As I grew older, the holiday, naturally, became a concern for “Will he notice me?” or “Will I have a Valentine?” But no matter how bummed my teenage self was to not have a “real” Valentine, my three guys would pull through. Through boyfriends, college and plenty of adult stresses, I would still come home to red envelopes in my mailbox. Sure, my now teenage brothers now need a bit of a nudge from my mom to remember their good ol’ sister, (apparently, there are other girls they also have Valentines for … who knew?) but they do it — no questions asked.

Now that I am married, I feel so fortunate to have four wonderful men to call my Valentines. Each one of them holds a special piece of my heart, and I am not sure there is much more a gal could ask for on this holiday.

After all, it’s really not about the lavish gifts and sentiments that often go hand-in-hand with this day (and I’m not just saying that because I know I’m not getting diamonds). The truth is, the wonderful thing about Valentine’s Day is that we have designated an occasion to tell the people in our lives — friends, family, significant others — we care about them. When we are younger, “love” is innocently overflowing. Remember make a “mailbox” for your elementary school Valentines? Everyone in the classroom had to give a Valentine to each other. But as we grow older, the meaning of those Valentines takes on a greater weight, saved for the truly special people in our lives. Hey, not many people are going to spend $4.00 a pop on a card for each one of their coworkers, right?;)

Every single one of my text messages, emails and phone calls from my Valentines ends with an “I love you!” On a daily basis I am asked for love, support, help with homework questions and simple conversation — the recipe for any significant relationship. I don’t need a holiday to know that I am loved.

But today I get an extra special reminder that I am one of those people who stands out in their hearts, and hey, who wouldn’t take that?

** I’ll be posting last night’s gluten-free lasagna recipe soon, so check back!