Valentine Surprises

The day’s clouds hung thick and gray.  The snow piles were old and melting and blended in with the color of the sky.  My mood mirrored the day.

I missed my Dad and Mom on that Valentine’s Day.  It was my first Valentine’s Day away from them.  I was 20 years old and had moved away the previous summer.  I had only moved a mile away!  That didn’t keep me from feeling homesick.

I remembered other Valentine’s Days, when Dad would come home from work with two surprise Valentine hearts filled with chocolates:  one for me and one for Mom.  Each year, the size of the box of chocolates grew bigger as I did.  The cellophane wrapper crinkled to reveal a little plastic rose decorating the top of the box.  The inside smelled like a combination of paper and cocoa.  The thick white wrapper that covered the chocolates and the small brown papers that held each piece were carefully kept in place even after I tasted each delicious piece.  I saved the box for months just to open it, remember how it had first smelled and listen to the paper crinkle as I played with and folded up all the little papers.

Now that I was all grown up and on my own, I didn’t expect a surprise Valentine heart filled with chocolates.  Though it was difficult, I secretly said good-bye to my Dad’s tradition.

After dinner I got busy washing the dishes, and the telephone rang.  It was Mom.  She asked me if I had gotten the mail.  I hadn’t because I had forgotten all about it.  I had been thinking about childhood Valentine’s Days.

After chatting for a while, we hung up. When I went out to the front porch to get my mail, I was so surprised and happy when I saw the very big Valentine surprise heart sitting on my pile of mail.  That was a day when I really appreciated all the love and kindness of my parents.

It’s nice to still be a little kid in your parents’ eyes, no matter how big you get!

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6 thoughts on “Valentine Surprises

  1. It is reassuring to have life go on as you have always known it in some ways even as others are changing forever. My kids are now 17, 19 and 22. I asked about doing away with Easter baskets last year and three shocked faces looked back at me in disbelief. OK! Got it! The world may be crazy and out of control so we all need some things we can count on.

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