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V-Day for parents, children too
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Sure, Valentine's Day is for lovers. But, it's also the perfect expression for love between parent and child. Each year around this time I reflect fondly on just how sweet my parents made this day for me when I was a kid. It didn't carry the same anticipation as Christmas, yet I eagerly awoke on February 14 - because I knew I'd have a bunch of red, white and pink gifts expressly for me.

But perhaps these showers of love were most appreciated when I became an adult. (Yes, I was in my late 20s and still getting V-Day gifts from my mom and floral deliveries from my dad.) Their special kindnesses saved me the angst of having to ensure I had a boyfriend in January, just so I could receive flowers and whatnot in February. It also did a world of good for my self-esteem.

As the parent now, I use Valentine's Day as an additional opportunity to let my boys know just how special they are to me. Since they're guys, I don't have to go all out with the frou frou stuff. Yet, a few years ago, I did purchase a few red and white candles that we use for a festively - lit dinner, typically consisting of something really romantic like chicken nuggets and fries. Hopefully, I also score points with them for always remembering to send money to school for those candy grams (remember those!) and helping them write the names on all those silly and witty little Valentine's used for classroom exchanges.

Ah, yes, love is in the air. Thank God it extends long after the candy has spoiled and the flowers have drooped.

Kysa Daniels is a journalist, non-profit professional and mother of three boys. For more Adventures in Parenting and parenting tips, e-mail