The day before Valentine’s, I realized that I had nary a pink heart up my sleeve and my kids, especially the youngers, were zippy with excitement. My baby boy had been laboriously writing notes to his little friends from church for days, and the older children were holed up in their rooms to craft, cut, and write. Oh dear. I decided I’d better rise to the occasion. You know, reciprocate. So I sat down at the table and mapped out a plan:

1. Little newspaper-wrapped and red-ribbon-tied gifts placed on pillows, to be found upon waking.
2. All games and no school work.
3. Iced hearts.
4. A visit to Papa’s job site.
5. An afternoon movie.
6. The Opening of the Package from Grandma.

I was quite pleased with myself. My plan made it seem almost as if I wasn’t winging it.

the “card” my daughter gave her papa

The day went well. I added a heart-shaped chocolate cake to the agenda. The kids played games—Rummy, Dutch Blitz, Blokus, and Sorry—with more enthusiasm than I had expected. The finger lights were appreciated.

And that was that. Simple, fun, sweet. And a much needed break from the February humdrum.

This same time, years previous: just stuff, foods I never told you about, part II


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