Valentine’s Day takes new meaning for me as I celebrate it with my second-grade son and his classmates. What are we really celebrating during this super-commercial holiday? Romance, or love? By whose definition? Who’s included and who’s left out on this day? And what do I want my son to learn about both romance and love?
Thinking about these questions in the context of the past few weeks, which brought the Komen kerfuffle, the joy of marriage equality, and the horror of Charlie and Braden’s deaths, inspired me to imagine what I hope my son and his classmates will experience in their lives:
- You can marry who you want. Or don’t get married. It’s up to you!
- You get to choose whether to have kids, and how many.
- You’re gonna learn skills for having great, healthy relationships―both at school and from all the adults in your life.
- Your government, the child welfare system, and your community will give everyone in your family really good help during times of trouble.
- Your family matters, whatever it looks like.
Happy Valentine’s Day, son. Mommy loves you!