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.
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?
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.
- 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.
- Friendship or strong bond that exists between people: Beaver’s mom, “Kids are more afraid of losing their parents’ love than of being punished.”
- 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.”
- 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 Random.org.
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: http://kindergartenbasics.blogspot.com/2013/02/celebrate-international-book-giving-day.html