The last few weeks have been tiring. I’ve been working on a dissertation, my internship, my teaching job and quite a few other things. I haven’t spent as much time just relaxing and enjoying my family as I would like, but it hasn’t been terribly stressful, either. There just hasn’t been much free time. The one thing that I was capable of remembering was that one of AJ’s favorite holidays was coming. AJ will tell you that Christmas is his favorite (because he loves his extended family time and his presents) followed by Halloween (because candy and costumes are awesome). However, even since AJ was a little guy he has loved Valentine’s Day.

AJ has always had a tender heart. We have also always included AJ in the Valentine’s celebration. He’s not a fan of giving valentines to everyone, but when it comes to celebrating those he loves? It’s on. This year, we were looking forward to truly spending time together. He’d asked for flowers because, “I’ve never gotten flowers from anyone, Mama.” So, instead of flowers, he got a bamboo plant that he could grow on his own. He looks at it and whispers to it the way I do my daisy plant. I know. It’s odd. But I’m telling you, it’s the only plant I’ve kept alive and that little bit of daily encouragement helps it grow.

He also got a new baseball helmet with his name airbrushed on it. I had no idea this was such a big deal, but my little cousin Lola did it, too! I expected a gift from my husband, but I didn’t expect anything but a hug from my sweet little guy. Or maybe a card. Some years he’s done a card. At 6:07am, on Valentine’s Day (probably lucky he waited that long), I felt a little hand shaking my shoulder and flowers were thrust in my face along with a huge box of chocolates. “Happy Valentine’s Day, Mama! I love you!”

I still haven’t stopped smiling. I took pictures of my flowers. We devoured chocolates together as a family. I told everyone I knew that my son thought of me. I found out, later, that he’d spent the money he’d gotten as a gift from his NeeNee to buy my presents. They were ever so much sweeter.

If you want to know how to get to someone’s heart, show pure love and no motivation for anything in return. AJ waits all year long to buy me flowers. Leon said that almost every time they go to the store that AJ asks to get me some. I’m a lucky mom.

I get Valentine’s Day every single minute of every single day that I get to spend with my son.