Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Valentine's Ring

February 14, 2009

"Are you going to put up the Valentine Ring?" my young son asks me over and over.

His sisters are always surprised all over again the morning that it appears. They can remember back to the time before that sudden Valentine's morning whim a few years back, when I tied red ribbons to a looped piece of hanger-wire wrapped with strips of red calico and hung it from the light over the breakfast table, then dangled little boxes of conversation hearts and ponytail holders for both of them and a big red plastic horse for their baby brother.

"I never know for sure if you really will or not this year," the girls tell me. But their brother sets the stage for weeks ahead of time.

"Are you going to hang the ring?"

"You'll have to wait and see."

"But are you going to?"

"Maybe. If it happens, it has to be a surprise."

When I get up that morning to work the magic, I find he's snuck in during the night and decorated the table - in hopes, in hopes (or if not that in consolation?) - with white-and-lilac personally handmade confetti. There's a strip of paper torn from the message board weighted down with chocolate gold coins (from his Christmas stocking?) that says on one end, "Mom," on the other end, "Dad," and in the center, "I love you!!!!!!"

I beg pardon already of his future wife. This is not necessary, you know - not like the regular nutritious meals served promptly that are such a challenge for me. Though if we're lucky he will have learned some of the right things and he will be the one to wake up early Valentine's morning for you and for the children you will have together just so he can say:

I love you!

You are my sunshine!

Happy Valentine's Day!

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