Our Little Valentines

Valentine's Day of 2003 I was sitting at a restaurant table with my girlfriends in Michigan. We celebrated Galentine's Day before it was a thing.

Ben entered my life by Valentine's Day of 2005, my first time celebrating this holiday in a romantic way. He overdid it with the gifts, chocolate, and all around boyfriend sweetness. Not that I'm complaining. 

Picture of a mother and her son, looking at each other in Ormond Beach, Florida.

Then, there came the littles. Life changed around here. Like, a lot.

I'm a believer that any holiday is what you make it.

My hope is that my children remember this holiday surrounded in the love of their family. We have an annual tradition of the Eby Family Valentine's Date Night.

Each of the Eby boys takes each of the Eby girls out on a date - all together. Since we have three of each, it works out perfectly. Well, you know, as perfectly as it can be taking four children under 8 to a restaurant.

We ask fun questions in between, "No, Davis, sit back down, you'll fall and crack your head." and "No, Juliet, don't touch the fire pit, that's dangerous!".

Larissa tells us about the time when she was afraid to jump, but she did it anyways and, "It was AWESOME!". Carter tells us that if he were a season it would be fall because, "you know, it's not too hot and it's not too cold and all of the leaves change colors. I like it for the colors." (of course, this is only when visiting Canada).

After dinner we let them run on the beach - after all, there's only so much sitting still these guys can handle. I love seeing them be wild and free.

Carter comes up with a game to play. Larissa joins in with all the smiles and laughter. Juliet twirls in the sand, in her own little world. Davis gravitates to the sign with numbers, trying to figure it out, just like Carter would have done at his age. He's happy just hanging out.

I watch it all, knowing that in this blip of time, I have four little valentines.  That makes me quadruple the lucky one.