Celebrations are hard right now. Wait what I am saying – celebrations for the most part basically don’t exist right now.
We have officially circled the earth with holidays like St Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, Mother’s and Father’s Day, 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s all falling within the pandemic.
And believe it or not, we are fast approaching the one holiday we were able to celebrate “normally” before most 2020 quarantines were put in place...Valentine’s Day.
Now I know not everyone does something for this holiday. Valentine’s Day is simply a day that some people adore and other people hate.
Boycotting a holiday all about love and romance makes sense for some even during normal times, but we now have a brain full of COVID-related reasons for not wanting to celebrate this year. Romance is simply one of the last things on our minds. We are too busy managing the day-to-day reality of a pandemic to focus on something trivial like Valentine’s Day.
However I would argue that this lack of romantic connection is the actual reason for taking the time to plan something this year. We all might not realize it, but a little injection of love is what a lot of us need right now.
Now I do know that many parents will not be alone on Valentine’s Day, and that the prospect of a child-free evening is slim at best. So I would like to propose a date-night suggestion that is both romantic and nostalgic, and yes, it even incorporates your kids.
Recently I was flipping through pictures, and I randomly stumbled upon an image of me and my husband’s “first” date. It was from over 13 years ago, and it made my heart automatically fill with love and pure nostalgia.
And that’s when the idea hit me...we should do a drive-around tour with our kids to all of the locations where our most important “firsts” happened. Give them a glimpse into what our past looked like, and give me and my husband a chance to escape our present and safely reminisce about our life together.
So I started by writing down every “first” that was within driving distance of our house, and I quickly came up with a memory-filled list of ideas. Like the first place we met and the first place we grabbed coffee, which led me to our first dinner date and first place we kissed. I then thought about the first place we lived and the first house we bought together. Next I imagined our kids and the many firsts with them, like the first public outing we did with our daughter and our first dinner out after our son. And at the very bottom of the list I added the first place we slept as a family of four, which would naturally take us back to our current home.
It all came together so easily, and honestly, it felt so exciting. I was creating a map of our history as a couple and a family. And to top it off, we would be able to pick up dinner from one of our favorite pre-kid restaurants along the way.
So on the day of the tour, I gave my husband a card with the list of clues. As he read through it, we laughed about whether or not we would think of the same locations, and we reminisced about some of our fondest memories. Our kids asked questions and we lovingly gave them answers from our history of the “before them.”
On the drive, we did some pictures alone where the kids were the photographers and some all-together where we used our newly purchased selfie stick. We told stories and shared so many laughs. We played songs that were important to us, and explained to our children their significance.
We reignited something in us that we didn’t even realize had laid dormant for way too long. We found a way to share our history with our children, not just with words, but with actual physical locations.
I felt so much love for my husband and the family we created after our tour was over. I remembered so much in such a short period of time, and without even knowing it, I found a way to feel romantic with my children there.
So I urge you to give this a try, maybe on Valentine’s Day or maybe just on a random Tuesday. Take an hour or two and let go of the present and live in past. It’s so worth the effort, and will give you a piece of yourself back that you didn’t even realize you were missing.