From Your Daddy In Heaven

Valentine’s Day, guys. You can see it, right? I kinda love it.

People complain that Easter is the new Christmas, and we shouldn’t go overboard with kids. That’s me with Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is my Christmas, even though I love Christmas. You can have favorite aspects of holidays. Halloween has the best atmosphere, and Christmas has the most spirit. Valentine’s Day is the prettiest and most chocolatey, but Easter has the BEST candy. St. Patrick’s Day has corned beef hash and Lucky Charms, and is during an exciting time of year! Almost spring!

When you’re nearly done with THIS:

And of course, there are the meanings, and how we make our own. My family isn’t religious, but we’re kinda spiritual. Scarlet is seven and said she doesn’t believe in God, only because she thinks humans mostly get the job done. She DOES believe in fairies and tooth fairies and garden fairies and even Valentine fairies. She knows, though, that I give her Valentine’s Day gifts.

And if you’re shocked that a seven-year-old doesn’t believe in God, well, that’s just Scarlet. If pressed, she’ll give you reasons she DOES believe in a God, or Gods, but not one who judges, condemns, and lets turmoil happen. She’s SEVEN. I didn’t put those ideas in her head. My religious philosophy can be described better HERE. I wrote it six years ago, but I assume it’s true. I never reread my writing because it makes me itchy so I’ll trust that you’ll tell me if it says anything good?

The reason I love Valentine’s Day is truly an epic, movie-esque, not-quite-happy, really-downright-sad reason, but boy, did it propel a series of not sad Valentine’s Days. I don’t need the works. I don’t need a single thing. I can tell you about valentines in school – getting three carnation “Love-Grams” sent to my desk in high school (from my sister and two gay friends but that’s neither here nor there). I can tell you about my first college boyfriend and his stuffed bear and three pound bag of M&Ms that I couldn’t even look at, because I had the honest-to-goodness FLU. There are many stories to tell, but it starts with this one.

My father had passed away in July. Before he had died suddenly, he had been put on a waitlist for Cabbage Patch Dolls – specifically the ones called “Preemies.” They don’t make them like that anymore! The Valentine’s Day after he died, I was four and Lindsay was six. This was several months later, and my mom got the call from Child World ON VALENTINE’S DAY (or maybe the day before) that the two Cabbage Patch dolls he had ordered were ready for her to pick up, after all this time.

My mom was the room mother for Lindsay’s classroom and had organized a Valentine’s Day game, but instead Lindsay got really sick and missed the party. We were home later on Valentine’s Day and Lindsay was napping – burning up with a high fever. She woke up and my mom gave us valentine gifts. I remember fuzzy red monkeys that had arms you could clip on things. We got homemade valentines and then the Cabbage Patch Kids dolls. Lindsay could read then, and my mom put cards on the boxes that said, “Happy Valentine’s Day, from your daddy in heaven.” It certainly felt cosmic then. It still does.

Sometimes I can open my heart a little bit, and then a bit more, and get back there again.

I’m a mom now and while my kids know I make a huge deal out of Valentine’s Day, they don’t know why yet.

That’s ok. They will someday.

Speaking of great dads and Valentine’s Day, this guy really stepped up for us as our dad. 30+ years strong now:

Also, speaking of great dads and Valentine’s Day, I saw a silly Valentine’s Day meme floating around Facebook, and decided to grab it, scrawl quick answers on it – if I’m capable (barely am) and share it on my blog. Feel free to share on yours!

Who’s older? Cassidy is by eight years.

How long have you been together? 10 years now!

Married? 8.5 years.

More sarcastic? Oh god, me. Not proudly.

Who makes the most mess? I think we all do in different ways.

Who has more tattoos? A tie because neither of us have any.

Better singer? No clue? I have great pitch but I don’t try. He does.

Hogs the remote? Him.

Who was interested first? Well, that was pretty mutual and a long story. I said, “I love you” first, though.

Better driver? He’s more confident, but I have a good record in terms of tickets and safety.

Spends the most? Him, but on important things.

Smarter? Both in different ways.

Most common sense? Him. I tend to float away sometimes. I’m not ditzy, but I operate on a different plane.

Whose siblings do you see the most? Probably mine.

Do you have any children together? TWO cute ones.

Did you go to the same school? Definitely not.

Who is the most sensitive? Him? Me? A tie? Him?

Who hogs the bed? This same kid, who is wearing my underwear in this picture:

Where do you eat out at the most? Probably Outlook Farm.

Who wakes up earlier? He does!

Who has the craziest exes? I think we both have a half dozen or dozen wonderful exes, and then maybe a few crazy apples?

Who has the worst temper? Tie.

Who does the cooking? Both. Neither. He’s better at it. I do it well when someone pays me to do it? Not a perfect system.

Who is more social? Me.

Who is the neat freak? Him more.

Who is the most stubborn? I am. I refuse to budge on that.

Where is the furthest you two have traveled? ALASKA! And by Alaska, I mean Endor.

Who has the bigger family? We both have big, blended families with lots of gorgeous cousins.

Do you get flowers often? Yes! He’s quite the gardener.

Who does the laundry? We do our own, and share the kids’ laundry.

Who’s better with the computers? Probably a tie at this point. Different strengths.

Who drives when you are together? He mostly does, and gets restless as a passenger.

Who picks where you go to dinner? I’d say both.

Who wears the pants in the relationship? Stupid question. I wear the leggings, though.

Who eats more sweets? One would think me, but he can eat a bag of gummy bears in one sitting, and it once took me three weeks to polish off just one bag. I think I have more interest in sweets, but he has more volume capacity.

Where was your first date? There was an airport, nausea from riding the monorail for too long, a kiss on the beach, a middle of the night trip to New England, dinner dates, breakfast dates, fireworks, and a moose. I think Friendly’s was first, though.

And you never forget your first.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all, and to all a lot of chocolate!

Posted in Parenting permalink

About Tamara

Tamara is a professional photographer, a mama of two, a Lifestyle Blogger/Social Media Influencer/Brand Ambassador, and a nearly professional cookie taster. She has been known to be all four of those things at all hours of the day and night. She is a very proud contributor to the book, The Mother Of All Meltdowns, the Stigma Fighters Anthology (volume 1), and The HerStories Project: So Glad They Told Me. She is also a proud Community Lead and a regular contributor to the SoFab Food blog, and the Target Made Me Do It blog. After two cross country moves, due to her intense Bi-Coastal Disorder, she lives with her husband, daughter, son, dog, cat, and 11 chickens in glorious western Massachusetts.


From Your Daddy In Heaven — 60 Comments

  1. Aw, that story of Cabbage Patch Dolls seriously brought tears to my eyes. But then again Valentine’s Day in general is a bit of an emotional day for me with it being the anniversary of the death of my grandfather. So honestly still not my favorite day sadly because of that by any means, but try so hard for Kevin and the kids to make this day special. Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too now <3

  2. Every time I read about your dad and you losing him so early brings tears to my eyes, especially since I lost mine a few years ago. While I got to enjoy mine for a long time, it’s still painful to lose a parent. I’m so happy to hear that your Cabbage Patch Preemies came, that’s something more to remember him by. He was thinking of you always. Do you still have that Cabbage Patch doll?

    BTW… Happy Valentine’s Day!

  3. I was just chatting with a high school friend and remembering the carnations in high school. It was sort of a public and painful reminder of how unpopular I was! Glad I’m not in that anymore… now I can just enjoy loving. We need to talk more about God… I think a day dedicated to love is sort of His ideal day! In the meantime, I wish everyone a great day and a chocolate lava cake:)

    • The carnations were a thing! My siblings and I would send them to each other. There was one year in which four of us each represented one year of high school! Then my poor sister was still in middle school, all alone, and probably happy about it.

  4. What a lovely tribute to why Valentine’s Day means so much to you. I loved learning more about you and Cassidy through the meme. Happy Valentine’s Day, Tamara!

  5. This is so incredibly sweet. I think it’s fantastic that you have a rather large Valentine’s Day–I’m amused to see Lucky Charms too! I love that cereal. Natalie got Shopkins too!

    I hope you have a wonderful day. I’ve already been through lots of chocolate.

    • The Shopkins obsession lives on here.
      And we still have Lucky Charms! They make a special kind for St. Patrick’s Day too!
      (I got a lot of chocolate – I hope you did too)

  6. I have tears streaming down my face…

    Just heartachingly beautiful, Tamara.

    What a cherished memory and a truly Heaven sent gift from your daddy to treasure and celebrate every single Valentine’s Day.

    I tried to get through the questions and switch gears… but oh it was hard! I’m simply stuck on your beautiful story.

    Happy Valentine’s Day, my beloved friend- in all the important ways I wish it for you. <3

  7. Scarlet doesn’t believe God because she thinks humans get the job done?? OMG, that is the sweeties, cutest thing I’ve ever heard, I love the way kids minds work, they are so logical and matter of face. WoW Your Valentine’s memory brought me to tears Tamara, thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Thank you for thinking that! I was worried I’d offend someone.. but we’re not Christian so there’s no reason she should believe in God, although perhaps all her Jewish grandparents might not agree with me..
      So glad you read it!

  8. I love that you had cabbage patch kids on pre order. I was never into Barbies but I LOVED my Cabbage Patch! They were awesome. I love that you take such care into the day. I am the opposite smh. I will take my inspiration from you!

  9. Awww, that is so touching. How sweet of your Dad to order those dolls for you. I am so sorry you lost him when you did. You and your sister were so young to lose your father, but I am glad you had (and still have) each other. What a loving Valentine’s memory!

  10. Now, that was a fun read, Tamara. I loved your intro with the different holidays already and I had read about your dad’s special Valentine’s treat, which is heavenly and then the Valentine’s QA meme – love it. Always fun to read those 🙂

  11. My sister had a Preemie -she loved that doll! She was a preemie herself. I didn’t get to read this yesterday, but now I have a wonderful post-Valentines Day glow from reading this. Thank you Tamara!

  12. You each do your own laundry?! You are my heroes!
    What a lovely post and story about Valentine’s Day. I can see why it is your favorite. I never had a Preemie. I think it’s right you two got one.

  13. much love to you and your beautiful history about valentine’s day. that you received the preemies was such a special gift from your daddy in heaven. brought tears to my eyes.

  14. What a beautiful Valentine’s story – and you made me cry. My sister and I both had Cabbage Patch preemie dolls – I think my mom still has them! This post had it all – a great story, tears, laughter. Hope you had a great day!

  15. WOMAN!! What are you doing to me this morning? In tears again.
    Wow, just wow, a love message from your dad. How amazing that had to feel and still feel.
    And my kids think the same. 🙂
    When will our families hangout?

  16. Your story is truly heartwarming. We do celebrate Valentine’s but in the simplest way. Reiko wrote a simple letter and woke me up in the morning to show it. My husband and I just stayed home though.

  17. Oh, this story, Tamara! <3
    My mom always bought us cute Valentine's day gifts, and now she does that for Eve. I don't think its origins are for the same reason as yours, but I do enjoy that she made the day so special. This year I made red heart-shaped pancakes for Eve which she loved.
    Also, Sam and I have been together 10 years as well!

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