I don’t love Valentine’s Day. It’s a day of pressure if you’re in a relationship. Planning a gift, having money for that gift, worrying about disappointing the person you care about, etc. When not in a relationship, the pressure can be that you don’t have a person to stress over. As a parent, the weight changes. Two different classrooms with different sets of kids doing an exchange of cards and goodie bags. Plus, the pressure of finding something for my husband too, oh and gifts for my kids, not just for their classmates. I have no idea where this obligation came from. I stopped attempting these 50 bags of monotony several years ago, hesitantly but willingly taking up a family member’s offer to do them with the kids. They enjoy it, and I get pretty close to despising it. I used to feel like I was a bad mom because I didn’t enjoy these school days. I think I’m a bit more patient with myself now. The boys just ate enough sugar for an entire week, probably, and their volume is matching that intake. It’s unreasonable and irrational to expect myself to like times like right now. For tired parents, this can be a day that we remember at one time being special and we miss when there was energy to make it so. Maybe not just parents. Maybe age, fatigue, chronic illness, loss of financial freedom–they too likely make this day harder, with each year becoming a reminder of what was and may not ever be again. There was a time when this day wasn’t a perfunctory task, a bullet on a to do list. I will wake up tomorrow and it won’t feel any different from today, minus the sugared up children. Some might find that consistency calming and peaceful, but my nature is restless.