A Start on Valentine's Day

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I'm always prone to jump the gun on holidays, so I have to ask--can we talk about Valentine's Day yet?  I realize that it's a controversial day--and, truthfully, it doesn't always work out for me--but I like it as a holiday.  

I understand that real love is about doing the laundry and changing the baby's diaper when both of you are too sick to stand up and telling you that you're a rockstar when you're afraid and full of doubt.  I get that; I really do.  

But, just the same, I like the cheesy, superficial, trappings of love too.  Flowers and hearts and candy and getting a babysitter so that you can have a meal out--I like the fuss of it all, I suppose.  I like the optimism.

Optimistic...like buying a box of watercolors, even though the last time you touched a brush was 7th grade art and you weren't very good at it then.  Optimistic...like allowing said watercolors to take up space on your bookshelf for two years, knowing that you'd get to them someday.  Optimistic...like sitting down to paint with them for the first time with a toddler sitting next to you, pounding on his play-dough.

But it was optimism well spent, because--although my 7th grade art teacher mightn't call them "A" work--I had quite a bit of fun blobbing paint on the paper and watching it turn into doodled flowers.  A few hunt-and-pecks with the typewriter later, and I had little cards to send to the few special people on my Valentine list.