Around this time Valentine’s week, I’d read a post from one of my favorite authors on Facebook about how she spent a former Valentine’s Day inviting her east coast neighborhood kids over to make baked treats. She’d said, “I bought the sugar and they brought plenty of love.” Just the thought warmed my heart, and my mind instantly went into action.
I’d already planned my version of a small Valentine’s party for my two youngest children to fill their hearts with as much love and cupcakes as they could stand. We are a military family, and this was the third year that we would be celebrating without their father who was away training. In the previous two he had been deployed.
I started to think about the other children in our new Pacific Northwest military neighborhood whose parents might be away, deployed, training or otherwise, and that their little or not-so-little hearts might be lonely on Valentine’s Day, too. So, I made a few calls, sent a few text messages and before I knew it we had a Valentine’s party, Mommy Sharisse style.
Now, no one will ever accuse me of being B. Smith, and I remembered that Valentine’s day was supposed to be all about love. So, I took my non-hostessing self right to the Dollar Tree and Target, which I can get around in a blindfold with my big red cart not bumping into no one, and bought what I could afford. I’d already planned on pizza for that Friday night anyway. You know Little Ceasars has $5 Hot and Ready pizzas, right?
Our little living room and dining room was transformed into love central and both the kids and us grown ups had a wonderful time. A female soldier with two children had such a great experience she wanted to reserve her same spot at my table every week. And, although I couldn’t commit to a full-blown party on a weekly basis she knows my door, phone or ear will always be available to her. Another former soldier and now wife of a soldier said she felt so much better having had someone to spend this time with.
The kids ran around being kids, doing what kids do and not one parent had a problem when I had to stop their kids a few times with the, “oh no, we won’t be doing that here.” The old school music was set at just the right volume and we even had a clean up after the party, party. And it only took me two days to recover. What? I just told y’all I’m new to this hostessing in my house stuff. My teenage days as a hostess have long passed. But, next time and there will be a next time, I’ll save space at the table or on the couch, and there will most definitely always be treats waiting for my fellow military families.
Until next time keep living, keep laughing and keep loving,