Valentine’s Day 2013…The Many Faces of Love

Valentine’s Day is a holiday that celebrates love. It began in honor of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. Valentine’s Day was first associated with romantic love by Chaucer when he wrote a poem in 1382 to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia.

For this was seynt on Volantynys day

When every bryd cometh there to chese his make.”

Back in college, I took a course on Chaucer and Old English…it was the only college course I ever dropped…but here’s a translation those two lines: “For this was sent on Valentine’s Day, When every bird comes there to choose his mate.”

By the 15th Century, lovers would give each other flowers, candy and cards (which were known as Valentines.

Valentine's Day,The Many Faces of Love,

Then there was Hallmark…and the rest is history!

Valentine’s Day celebrates many types of love. According to psychologist Elaine Hatfield, there are two main types of love: Compassionate Love and Passionate Love. Compassionate love features mutual respect, attachment, affection and trust. Passionate love is filled with intense emotions, sexual attraction, anxiety and affection. Ideally, passionate love, which is transitory and short-lived, turns into compassionate love, which is enduring and long-lasting.

C.S. Lewis, in The Four Loves, identifies four categories of love: Affection or storge which is fondness through familiarity, Friendship or philia which is the strong bond that exists between people who have a common interests, Romance or eros, which is being in love or loving someone and Unconditional Love or agape which is the love of caring regardless of the circumstances.

But what of a parent’s love for a child…what type of love is that?

Valentine's Day,The Many Faces of Love,

Last night, I watched one of the old Leave It To Beaver episodes and I witnessed the four loves described by C.S. Lewis.

In the show, little Beaver loses his lunch money several days in a row. His parents warn him that he will be in trouble if it happens again. His father gives him money to go to the barber shop to get a haircut, but when the little boy gets there, he realizes he has lost the money again. His older brother agrees to help him and, when this results in ‘the haircut from hell’, the boys try to fool their parents by wearing hats.

  1. Affection or fondness through familiarity: This is evident in the day to day interaction…Beaver’s brother is almost always willing to help him; Beaver’s mom and dad are caring and understanding.
  2. Friendship or strong bond that exists between people: Beaver’s mom, “Kids are more afraid of losing their parents’ love than of being punished.”
  3. Romance or loving someone passionately: Beaver’s dad, “The trouble with being a parent is that you love your kids so much, you scare the pants off them.”
  4. Unconditional love: Beaver’s brother, “You can come to parents with any problem and they will understand.”

Happy Valentine’s Day! What are your plans for today? If you have young children, have fun with them…why not go for a walk, play ball, sing a silly song, draw a picture together, read a book with them. SHOW them as well as TELL them that you love them…every day. It will make a positive impact on the rest of their lives.

There is still time to nominate your favorite literacy organization to win the International Book Giving Day $25 donation…please leave a comment on my post. Tomorrow we will choose the winner with

And if you have the time, you can take a look at the Valentine’s Day/International Book Giving Day YouTube video I made yesterday with author/educator Susan Case: SHOW THE LOVE: INTERNATIONAL BOOK GIVING DAY. We shared several picture books and crafts and ideas on helping kids celebrate Valentine’s Day and International Book Giving Day. Susan is giving away TWO copies of her fantastic Happy Mommies Handbook…don’t miss out…leave a comment on her blog post:


What’s In Your Child’s Bookcase Wordy Wednesday?

Books, books...

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Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed when you walk down the aisles of a bookstore or library…so many choices…which one should you pick?  I know I do!

It is also difficult for parents who want to choose good books to read with their children.

These posts on Wednesdays are dedicated to busy parents and teachers who are looking for quality picture books, but don’t have a lot of time to search through the stacks. 

Since this week I seem to be following a theme of LOVE, I’ve chosen I LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY HEART, one of the stories I recommend in my new parenting book.


Written by Noris Kern

Illustrated by Jean Baptiste Baronian

         Polo, the baby polar bear, wonders what it means when his young caribou friend, Walter, tells him that his mother loves him with all her heart.  Polo goes home to ask his mother and she explains that she loves him with her mouth when she kisses him, with her paws when she tickles him, with her belly when she hugs him; in other words, with her whole self or whole heart.  Polo is extremely comforted by this revelation.  Before he goes to sleep, he tells his mother that he loves her with all his heart too.

         Charming illustrations and a simple text help young children enter the world between the pages of this book.  Young children need to be reassured that their parents love them.  All too often, we interact with our children only when we want to correct their behavior.  This is really a reinforcement of their negative behavior.  Perhaps, instead, we can follow the principle of Positive Parental Participation

         If you are enjoying the time you spend with your young child, whether it is reading the picture book or working on a craft project or preparing something together in the kitchen, that joyful interaction will help your child feel valued and valuable, an important step in the formation of high self-esteem.

         Are you looking for great picture book recommendations and simple, easy-to-do fun-filled educational self-esteem building activities?  Pick up a copy of the book that provides it all…now at a substantial saving at 50% off the cover price.


Make-A-Meal Mondays: Valentine’s Day Special

Esther Howland Valentine, circa 1850: "We...

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Do you remember your first Valentine’s Day card?   Was it from a relative or a best-friend?  How about your first “love interest” Valentine?  Do you remember crafting Valentines when you were a child…cutting the red construction paper into heart shapes and gluing bits of ribbon or lace onto the handmade card?

The history of Valentine’s Day is clouded by various legends, but its roots are in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, a fertility celebration.  Pope Gelasius I made this pagan festival into a Christian feast day in 496 and he declared February 14 to be Saint Valentine’s Day.

However, it wasn’t until the 14th Century that Chaucer linked St. Valentine’s Day with romance.  In 1381, he composed a poem in honor of the engagement of Richard II of England and Anne of Bohemia.  “The Parliament of Fowls” spoke of the royal engagement, the mating of fowls and St. Valentine’s Day.

By the 18th Century, gift-giving and the exchange of handmade cards had become a tradition in England.  However, it wasn’t until the 1850’s that the tradition of Valentine’s cards became widespread in the United States when Esther Howland, a native of Worcester, Massachusetts and a graduate of Mt. Holyoke, began to mass produce Valentine’s Day cards.

Do you still make your Valentine’s Day cards by hand? 

A lot of people do try to make something special to celebrate this day of love.  If you pass a bakery or candy shop, you will, no doubt, see windows and shelves filled with cakes, cookies, cupcakes and elegant confections in the shape of hearts, bows, and cupids.

For a healthier take on Valentine’s Day food, why not try this lovely HEARTS OF MOZZARELLA SALAD.  This recipe is from the SHOW ME HOW! book, which provides 100 child-friendly healthful cooking activities.  You can try it for lunch today or as a side salad for dinner.


You will need: 1 chunk of mozzarella cheese (about 1 lb), 2 Roma tomatoes, 1 Tb basis (dry or fresh), several leaves of romaine lettuce, 1 Tb balsamic vinegar, 1 Tb olive oil and 1 Tb Parmesan cheese.

1.  Cut mozzarella into 8 slices, each about ¼ inch thick.  Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter or a knife to cut each slice into a heart shape.  Put the excess cheese in a plastic bag in the fridge to save for topping on pizza, etc.

2.  Slice each tomato into 4 slices and place a tomato slice on top of each cheese heart.

3.  Arrange on a platter of lettuce leaves and sprinkle each serving with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil and Parmesan cheese.

I hope you’ll stop by tomorrow for a bunch of wonderful love quotations in Quotable Timeless Tuesday.

May you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day…filled with Sunshine (even if it is raining) and Love.