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Toys or books?

Would you rather buy a book or a toy for your child — or neither?

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Today being Valentine's Day, I'd like to to offer up a few gifts for my family. Sure, my kids drive me bananas sometimes, but they've also made me a better person, as has my dear husband.

To my sweet daughter, I'd like to wish a lifetime of love. She bestows it on stuffed animals and her daddy and me (and sometimes even on her little brother) but I want her to know that loving something is not the same as being lovable. Sometimes she's not always lovable, such as when I want her to do her homework or clean her room and she screams at me and slams off in a huff. As the Wizard of Oz said, "A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others." I want her to know how much she is loved by others, even in her huffy times.

For my tiger of a son, I'd like to wish a lifetime of knowing HOW to love others. He's been fighting with his sister — and with his parents — a lot lately and he's not been very loving to any of us. I'd like him to learn that while it's OK to disagree with someone, it's NOT OK to be disagreeable.

For myself, instead of chocolates, I'd like the gift of patience (I'm kidding about not wanting chocolates, of course — everything's better with chocolate). But I have found myself running out of patience more often than I'd like. The gift of patience is also a reflection of love, for by being patient, you gift another with respect.

And lastly, for my husband, I gift my heart and my love. He's the real engine that keeps our family humming, the glue that binds us together. When I've had enough and hide under the covers, he calms the tantrums and is a shelter in the storm. We literally could not operate without him. He is the strength we need every day.


What a beautiful tribute Bonnie!

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