A Perfect Valentine's Date...


A Perfect Valentine’s…


    For some reason, I’ve long held a place in my heart for Valentine’s Day. I’m sure it started in elementary school with the candy hearts, Transformer cards, and two hour, sugar fueled parties. I’m also certain that my middle school years included more than one awkward moment, passing the wrong note to the wrong girl at the wrong time. That’s how we boys learn about girls.


    By my senior year of high school, I might have learned a bit. I was dating a girl from a rival campus and would not see my valentine that day. As a substitute, I purchased a five gallon bucket full of roses from a roadside vendor. I spent the day passing out flowers to any girl I saw who didn’t appear to have a Valentine. You could say I was a kiss up, lonely, just a decent guy, or hedging my bets. All could apply and were probably true in some form.


    It never hurts to do something nice.


    The last couple of years, we have spent Valentine’s at home as a family. One advantage in being parents of one boy and one girl is that we can double date. Mom and son, dad and daughter…it makes for a nice evening.


    After a long day of youth basketball, we headed to H.E.B. to gather provisions. As we were not the only ones eating in, the store was a madhouse. We split up and one “couple” gathered fresh produce while the other flanked both wine (sparkling apple juice for the kids) and main course ingredients. Soon, we were back on the road to Llano.


    After unloading and food prep, we enjoyed a sunset on the porch, accompanied by love songs, football, dancing, smelly dogs, and gymnastics. Alas, the sun set too soon and we retired to the house for our special dinner of spaghetti and homemade, heart-shaped meatballs. By the time desert rolled around, the wine was flowing and we parents started telling stories of our life and love. At least one of the kids was enthralled, listening to how we fell in love and got engaged.  The other…he got bored quickly and retired to his room to battle in some electronic war.


    The night ended with everyone vying for the king bed and comfy sheets. Somehow, Dad ended up in a kid’s bed with too few pillows and scratchy linens. All was well, though, as his “date” was fast asleep on the trundle bed beside him.


    The next morning, Jennifer and I drank coffee and discussed Valentine’s past. Surely, we’d had some good ones, but it took a drawer full of retired pocket calendars to remember what all we’d done through the years. There were some fancy dinners, several parties, and a few weekend getaways. We remembered them fondly, but none seemed to compare to the last couple of years, double dating with our kiddos.


    Sometimes, life’s greatest blessings are right in front of us. We just have to make time, slow down, and appreciate them.


    Until next week, keep smiling.


-Please send comments to Drs. Parrish at www.ParrishDental.com.