Today is Valentine’s Day. The holiday chosen to celebrate our feelings of love in relationships and friendships. A day filled with passion and creative plans of acts of kindness toward those we love. Today we have big and fun plans. We are going to have a special dinner, hand out the small tokens of our affection and celebrate our family with special games and dessert.

Or at least we were. The local virus, possibly strep throat, has intruded and forced us to change course. Despite our well intentions, tonight we will likely have some soup and sandwiches and spend the evening watching Dora and Little House on the Prairie.

As I think about all our plans getting flushed today, I have been reminded of some priorities.

1. Love is not restricted to February 14.

My husband does not like Valentine’s Day. His perception is that is a time when restaurants and hotels increase their prices to profit from the stress created by a holiday marketed by the greeting card companies and chocolatiers. “If I have to have a holiday every year to show my family I love them, then there is something wrong.” And you know what? He’s right.

As moms, we show love to our children all day and every day just by being there. Some of the sweetest memories I have of our family were the result of just spending unplanned time together. We were just being and not doing.

2. Sometimes simplicity is best.

Where did the expensive idea for Valentine’s Day come from? I doubt it was a mom of small children! Simplicity can mean more than the chaos of elaborate plans, especially for children. Last night we made some heart shaped lollipops. It took all of 20 minutes and their smiles say it meant more to them than any fancy dinner because we made it together.

Regardless of big plans or no plans at all, every day is Valentine’s Day for moms. Diamonds are nice, but not as priceless as those handcrafted cards and painted pictures on our refrigerator. Walking hand in hand with a preschooler makes any day special. Listening to your teenager’s thoughts on the current events of the day is more inviting than any lunch with the girls. These are the thing we treasure as moms.

Happy Imperfect Valentine’s Day