Every Valentine’s Day my local grocery store has a line of men in the express line that winds back to the floral department.

And there they stand a dozen red roses in hand, maybe some chocolates and the clock is ticking since it’s already dinner time. 

Of course, there are women as well but it’s generally men. What are they thinking? “Oh (bleep) it’s Valentine’s Day and I haven’t gotten my wife or girlfriend anything!”

When I see these men I think, “Who taught you how to love?”

Oh, that’s right, people like me (their mothers) taught them. 


I remember one time telling my children I didn’t need anything from them on holidays, they are after all children. However, I followed by telling them it was my job to teach them how to love so one day they would express it well to the person they chose to love.

One Christmas, I told them it wasn’t just about buying presents, they could write me something, draw me something or sing me something. And they did. They wrote and performed a group song for me. I continued to reinforce this on other holidays. I still love to listen to the song my youngest song sang for me one Mother’s Day. I have also taught them as they have gotten older to go out by themselves or together and buy presents for each other. They need to learn to make the people they love a priority.

Holiday’s are such a wonderful way to reinforce the way we love each other all year long. 


Of course, these are overt lessons. The true way we teach children to love is in our everyday interactions. The ‘I love you’s,’ the hugs, the written notes, the songs we sing to them, the ‘heart’ texts to let them know we are thinking of them, buying their favorite candy or something else out of the blue and more.

Twelve red roses from the grocery store is an obligation fulfilled. 

It’s not a love infused thought.

It’s an ‘I’m going to buy these to make sure I don’t get in deep trouble’ move.

But you know what is most interesting about the aforementioned sentence? It’s about “I’ and a “me.” 

Not about the one who is on the receiving end.

Interesting, isn’t it?

Because giving a gift is meant to be an expression of love for another not a means of self-protecting.

And as adults, we should no longer have to be taught to love.

We should choose to.


(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist on Twitter @colleenorme
on Pinterest @colleensheehyorme
E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com

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