Posted by Peggy Kaufman

HeartsSeveral weeks ago, my husband and I took care of our two-month-old grandson for the evening. When our son came to pick him up at the end of the night, he turned to us and shared that the look on our faces after taking care of his baby was priceless. He added that he cherishes who we are to him and now who we are to his son.

As Valentine's Day approaches, the stores and media bombard us with messages about appreciating those around you. Perhaps a Hallmark holiday is a good reminder not only of what we feel but of what we can say about what we feel. The affirmations I read on February 14 are the messages that give my relationships greater meaning every day of the year: communicating not only what we do, but who we are.

Valentine's Day reminds me of how our relationships can be an opportunity to share with another the experience of valuing our relationship, a declaration of my positive feelings, and a confirmation of who others are to me. I wonder at this time of the year if I really want to wait another 364 days to share my experience directly with those I appreciate and cherish like my son did with me last month. Chocolate is delicious and flowers are lovely, but there is nothing as precious as the gifts from the heart and the words that communicate appreciation for being who we are.

Peggy KaufmanPeggy H. Kaufman, MEd, LICSW is the founding director of the JF&CS Center for Early Relationship Support. With a background in perinatal emotional health and the growth and development of parents, her interests include the earliest relationships. Ms. Kaufman is the recipient of multiple awards for her groundbreaking programs and her commitment to increase awareness of postpartum depression and maternal and infant mental health.