A Valentine For Mimi

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Dear Mimi,

We overheard mommy talking to daddy about Valentine’s Day. She said this will be your first time (since 6th grade) that you won’t get a card from a boy that likes you. That’s not okay.

We have to give a Valentine’s card to every person in class, even if we don’t play with them. I signed my name in black pen, and Ty used a red crayon. We covered our Valentine’s in stickers and ninja drawings. Daddy says you give Valentine’s when you’re in love, and now we’re extra confused because I don’t ever want to get married and Ty wants to marry every girl in his class.

Valentine’s Day is for the birds.

Maybe, instead of giving all the cards to the people in class, we could combine our cards- black pen and red crayon, and drawings and stickers- and give you one giant bag.

Mommy says it’s not necessarily what’s in the card, but the thought behind giving it. She says Valentine’s Day is for sweethearts, but also for friends, to remind people that they are special.

You know who’s special to us? You!

When Papa was here, you guys gave each other cards every day. Invisible cards. He always wanted to play with you, and be next to you. And once in the kitchen, we saw him smooch you and pat you on the behind! And you gave him cards too. You spoke kindly, and talked nice about him when he was outside washing the car. You asked his opinion and said I love you! really loud, all the time!

You guys gave us invisible Valentine’s Day Cards too. You handed us one when you sprawled your bodies- half on the carpet, the other half on the wood floor- pushing toy cars back and forth. We opened those cards every time you and Papa threw your heads back in a deep laugh, singing “Deep and Wide” or better yet, “Country Road.” Invisible cards exchanged on summer days swimming in the pool, eating hamburgers, and going on adventures together.

If Papa were here this Valentine’s Day, he’d buy you a giant card with lots of words and sign it, I love you. Maybe he’d get you a See’s chocolate or pair of shoes. We wish he were to give you hugs in the kitchen and pull you away from grading papers to drive you to the beach for dinner.

Even without him, you continue to show your love with invisible Valentine’s cards. You gave me one when you took me to lunch and then to Beauty and the Beast on Broadway. Open, goes the envelope as characters continue to sing “Be Our Guest” while Ty and I dance in the living room. We surprise you with a card as we argue for the seat next to you around our dinner table, and beg you to scratch our backs one more time as you kiss us goodnight and visit with mommy and daddy on the couch.

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This year, Ty and I are wondering, Mimi, will you be our Valentine?

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We will give you cards to celebrate this holiday but we’ll continue handing them to you, the invisible ones, every time we snuggle up with a book, each time we reach for your hand, or run to greet you when you pull up in front of the house. We love you as much as we know, and we hear you tell us the same.

Maybe the best Valentine’s are the moments we catch love, true love, happening. In singing songs, in playing cars, in standing on the curb and throwing rocks on the street. Maybe Valentine’s Day isn’t about cards or stickers or chocolate, but about really letting people know we love them every.single.day.

You, Mimi, are our Valentine every day.

Now if only Ty could understand that he can’t marry you 🙂

With love and smooches,

Tanner & Ty

Who, being loved, is poor?  ~Oscar Wilde

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