How Do Parents Show Their Love?

Whether you’re a single, married, divorced, or widowed parent, this holiday probably feels pretty much the same to you: completely off your radar. Because today, like every other day of the year, you will be parenting. Both a blessing and a curse, but a full-time job none the less.

This year I watched my daughter painstakingly sign 30 non-personalized Valentine cards and obsess over how her three favorite boyfriends (none of whom are aware of their special role in her life) will react to receiving the fanciest of her Disney Princess cards. The biggest decision she faces is whether it’s worth the risk of sneaking a candy heart into those three envelopes despite the teacher specifically banning any sugar from the class Valentines. That’s how a five-year-old shows her love.

How Do Parents Show Their Love?

By changing your poopy diapers at three o-clock in the morning so your little tushie doesn’t develop a rash.

By patiently reminding you that biting is naughty, while blood oozes from the puncture wounds on their hand.

By awkwardly chuckling after your mortifying announcement to the babysitter that Mommy (or Daddy) has on special underwear for date night.

By not locking you in the dog kennel you after you discover the secret chocolate stash in the pantry and go on a three day sugar high.

By frosting Valentine’s Day cupcakes at midnight after you forgot to mention you volunteered to bring them to the school party tomorrow.

By driving you to the movies for a group date, and then sitting five rows back and pretending not to know you with all your friends’ parents.

By pinning the corsage on your Sweetheart Dance date for you because you’re convinced you will pop her breast with the stick pin.

By allowing you to take the car on a snowy night the same weekend you somehow managed to get it stuck in the front yard of your own house.

By watching you date a leather-clad Satan without (too many) objections and prophecies of doom.

By refraining from calling you every day to check you’re still alive after you move to college.

By choosing only one or two of these countless embarrassing childhood moments to share with everyone you know at your wedding.

By keeping all these fun parenting stories to themselves until after you’ve conceived their precious first grandchild.

By not laughing (in your presence) about your own challenging parenting moments.

Ah, the circle of life. Happy Valentine’s Day, Parents!

Scarytine’s Day book selection this year: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (Bestselling Author of Gone Girl) No serial killer this year, but still not for the faint of heart. Gory. Disturbing. So much to discuss at book club this week!

About Jennifer Kay

Jennifer Kay is a KidLit author and Structural Engineer. She has a VCFA MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, is an SCBWI Rockford Network Rep, edits the SCBWI IL Prairie Wind, and belongs to Mystery Writers of America. Jennifer works as a writer, freelance editor, literary agency reader, and creative writing teacher.
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