I can't think of a Valentine's Day that was this emotionally charged since my early-teenage years. You know the years when the 'secret cupids' sent cute Hershey-kiss shaped roses to you in your fifth-hour class? Well, I remember NOT getting any.
The funny thing is Valentine's Day has a meaning that's very different to me now than it was then. While of course I appreciate the significance of romance and love, I was brought up that it was also a celebration of love of the family. And I love to try to carry that tradition over to the kids.
Of course we have had the house decorated for sometime already and I have also been trying to add in several ways to make the day, week, and the month of February special.
-heart shaped sandwiches in their lunches
-notes of compliments around the house
-valentine photos taken
And for this particular evening...a red meal (spaghetti and meatballs) with two fun pink/red themed desserts with PRESENT opening.
This saga is not about me...In fact I received a beautiful bouquet of flowers (with a note that we are less than thirty days out) and even more fun...several notes and messages throughout the day from Mark.
The real struggle has been #2. The struggle for me to allow him to live through this nice dinner...to be able to partake in these festivities.
It isn't one event in particular that sticks out. More or less the consistent presence of behaviors that I didn't even know he could exhibit.
The day presented like a seesaw...ups and downs. One moment he was sweet and giving me a picture he had made for me. The next...ugh. Really, really rough. Then again, he would have his arms around me in a hug, and the next I might see a book fly from his room.
I can only hope this isn't a snippet of what is to come during the teenage years. If so...watch out. That boy has a temper that I have never seen.
A comforting note from a friend suggests this might not be an anomaly for young boys around this age.
For certain, our little man has many stressors in his life.
- He misses his Dad. Mark's arrival home is so close; yet at the same time still too far away for his time-warped mind to fully grasp
- He misses his friends yet is enjoying his new ones. This struggle of loyalty must be so conflicting for his little brain. I am so thankful the teachers at his school have helped him make this transition so smoothly. He even mentioned to me that he 'pops into' his old class nearly every day to say hello.
- Finally, I have already talked about the wrestling saga.
I am trying hard to be compassionate and understanding of his struggles; yet he still needs to be respectful and mindful of me.
I am not certain that a severn-year-old can grasp these concepts. I wish he really didn't believe I was just m-e-a-n (as he spell yelled at me yesterday...I haven't experienced this 'spelling-yelling' before); And instead believed, that I in fact, adore him...that is why I am mean.
But maybe...just maybe, this is the balance he and I will be trying to strike until the time he leaves our nest?