Thursday, February 14, 2013

It's in the little things...

I have two primary love languages... in the Dr. Gary Chapman way.  Gift giving and acts of service are the ways in which I feel loved and often how I express love, though I have begun learning the art of expressing love the way another person feels love.  My marriage is a bit of a mess (biggest understatement ever) and I know one piece of the puzzle in this is that I have not done this well as a wife... expressing my love in a way that he understands love.  But really that is not the point of this post... because I mostly like to blog and update my facebook status with the things I do well in my life, so let's move on to how it's in the little things with my children, shall we?

Several years ago two of the most dear women in my life-my MOPS mentor moms, gave a talk to our group about how we can identify and understand the love languages of our children, and they based their talk on The 5 Love Languages of Children.  I learned so much that day about how important the little things are for my kids.  My older son craves words of affirmation.  My daughter loves physical touch and gift giving.  My younger son needs lots of time spent together.  So on a day that in theory is supposed to be about the expression of love, I feel like I have a huge opportunity to express my love well to each of my kids.

We have a few family traditions that anchor our living.  One is the use of banners to signify whatever holiday we are celebrating.  If there is no holiday, I usually create a banner made out of the kids art projects.  Several of those banners have landed pictures on this blog over the years... like here and here.  So in usual fashion the banner was hung...

And the table was set...

For my older son, I made sure the words were short sweet and meaningful.  For my daughter, the tabletop display and the mailbox helps her feel special, and for my younger son... well we are going on a date tomorrow to build a bear...just cuz we can.

I used to stress and work myself up into a tizzy making things just so...but I have learned how to keep it simple.  I've been building up craft supplies on clearance for each season for years now, so I just needed to dig into my Valentine's Day storage bin to come up with items to give.  Good planning in past years has made my life easier and that allows me to be more present with my children on the important days.  

So why would you care about such things?  Maybe you don't... that's for sure. So let me say this,  I don't share what I do, to suggest I have my shit together...because I most certainly do not.  I share to show my process, because I stole my process from others and tweaked it to my liking...because that's what I do.  Maybe something I share will ignite a great little idea in you!  On this Valentine's Day, may you be showed kindness and connection... not just chocolate and cards.  On this day, may we all remember that there are many all over the world that are treated cruelly under the veil of romantic love, religious piety, or allegiance to state.  Actualizing love takes practice and awareness.  I know I have a long way to go, yet I am grateful for how far the love I have been blessed to experience, has already taken me!

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