I remember Valentine’s Day with my husband prior to having kids. I would receive beautiful flowers at work. I would come home to sinfully delicious chocolates wrapped in shiny red decorated boxes. I would be spoiled with a romantic dinner complete with all the courses that made it an impossible night to follow a healthy diet. Romance, rich foods, intoxicating drinks and decadent desserts were all included in our celebration. We would talk, laugh, and stare into each others eyes as we enjoyed our dinner together.
Now, with three young boys, Valentine’s Day is a bit different. There is still a celebration of love in our house but it is shared with the kids. I am still spoiled with flowers but instead of romantic dinners out (because it is not easy to find a sitter when everyone is spending time with their own valentine), I make a special dinner. The staring into each others eyes is interrupted by the sound of young voices yelling “stop looking at me!” or “don’t copy me!” There are no candles lit and no soft music playing but I have spent the day with the kids, baking a heart inspired dessert. Whether it is a moist red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, chocolate heart shaped brownies or buttery frosted sugar cookies, we always pick something that we will enjoy eating just as much as we did making.
Yes, many things are different about this day since we had kids but at least one thing remains the same. The added temptations and the extra calories that come with the holiday haven’t changed.
The candy that comes home from school with the valentine exchange is a smaller scale of Halloween time. It is tempting to dip into the children's treats, especially when they happen to be my favorites, Hershey kisses with caramel. I unwrap the familiar foil paper and pop the small candy with the big taste in my mouth, the combination of the chocolate and caramel melt together and leave me imagining that it is the taste of gold.
Holidays make it a challenge to stay on track with healthy eating. Valentine’s Day is no exception. I do my best but allow myself some splurges. I will just work out a little harder tomorrow.