Friday, 14 February 2014

Best Valentine's Day Ever?


What's the best Valentine's Day you have ever had? Honestly, I think mine was spent seated at a card table, in a slightly dusty Church Hall lit by tea lights, surrounded by small boys....


When the Scouts announced they were looking for anew fundraiser that year, all the usual suggestions were mumbled over and then thrown out the window. The boys wanted something big, something bold...and the leaders offered them Valentine's Day.They tell me everyone, um, loved the idea from the start. I'm not sure if I believe that. Really? A dozen almost teenagers asked to cook and serve a special Valentine's day meal for their parents? A show stopping feast in a pop up restaurant, with entertainment to follow? That's a tall order.

But if there were rumbles of dissent, I didn't hear about them. In fact, The Tall One (who just about fitted into his uniform) seemed to think he could do it. And his dad and I started to look forward to a night out. Truth ne told, we hadn't had a nice Valentine's evening together in years. babysitters were hard to get hold of and we had a little girl who really didn't like to be left with anyone. It was easier to stay home and eat our way through a big pile of Marks & Spencer pink heart jellybeans, with two children sitting between us. But that little girl could hardly object to this plan: the beauty of the Scouts Big Valentine Project was that they had thought of everything. They had considered Being Prepared and then taken it to a whole new level. For this invitation included babysitting. The Scout Leader's wife just happened (oh, happy day) to be The Small One (for she was small back then)'s Sunday School teacher; and she and her daughter were to run a creche. "Yes, I'll go," said The Small One. "There'll probably be colouring in. And project sheets."

And it was a triumph! We got there early, all dressed up, and The Small One was scooped up and settled down, and her brother headed to the kitchen, apron in hand. We were ushered into the hall: softly lit, it was, warm and welcoming, and with some of the most charming waiters you could imagine waiting to take our order. We sat at our little card table and we talked to each other and relaxed in the candle light; and the boys brought us our meal: three courses, all carefully considered by one keen Assistant Scout Leader and enthusiastic amateur chef. It was all perfect - napkins, flowers, table gift - you name it, those Scouts had covered it all. They cooked it, they cleaned it up and then they got up on the stage and entertained us; and all the time The Small One coloured and snacked and had as fine a Valentines Night as she could have wished for in the company of her big brother and his friends. It was a huge success. We all paid handsomely, those "suggested donation" envelopes were full, for it was worth every penny. 

And the best bit? They did it all again the year after. Oh, yes: it's true. Valentine's Day hasn't been the same round here ...since our boy got too big for the Scouts.

If you have something planned for today, I hope it's lovely. And if you have a great Valentines Day story..of course, I'd love to hear it. Happy Valentine's Day!


29 comments:

Ruth said...

What a wonderful memory for you all ~ I am quite envious!!
My best one was actually yesterday, in the form of a conversation with TBC.
"TBC, would you like to send a Valentine to anyone?"
"Yes, Mummy."
"Who?"
"You. I will send you a Minnion ... could you go on the internet to find out how to make one, please?"
Priceless.

Barbara Eads said...

That is a special story---especially since it included the whole family. I used to do these sort of family parties when the girls were little. But, of course, it was ME doing all the work. Still, I cherish those memories---the s;purge of crab legs and asparagus---candy, little gifts, candles, napkin folds and fresh flowers. Now-a-days, we celebrate either before or after the holiday with a special restaurant meal out. "He" plans that and it's fine with me!

scrappyjacky said...

What a brilliant idea...it sounds just perfect for anyone with children.

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

Oh my gosh, I can see why that was your best Valentine's Day ever. Such a great idea for a fund raiser, and a perfect way to enjoy a nice meal. I love it!

Happy Valentine's Day, Sian! xo

debs14 said...

What a lovely story! They really had thought of everything hadn't they?

Miriam said...

How beautiful Sian! i think today might rank among the best for me as I have been thoroughly spoilt by my lovely husband. Instead of a story I am going to make some of my Love is...cards. I haven't done one for ages. I hope you have a lovely evening.

furrypig said...

that does sound like a wonderful evening and a great way to raise funds! Happy Valentine's Day

alexa said...

Now there's a story to warm the cockles of the heart :). D'you know what TTO is doing today? I hope that somewhere he stops and has a little trip back through the years and remembers his Mum :).

Maria Ontiveros said...

What a lovely story Sian and so well told! I'm actually not big on Valentines Day, but I do remember one particularly lovely romantic dinner with Paul (before kids).

Eleanor said...

Love the story, beautifully told as ever, especially the colouring in and project sheets. Those words gave a wee frisson of delight, still after all these years. Funny what endures isn't it?
I think I'll go find some crayons (there's a human anatomy colouring book around here somewhere!), or maybe even a pencil and rubber and a music theory workbook. Bliss.
E
x

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

Whoever came up with that idea is a genius! We would have been up for a night out with the whole family for Valentine's Day. Tonight we were just happy that the power stayed at full strength long enough to cook the home made pizzas!

tidbitsandtreasures2011 said...

Your Boy Scout Valentine's Day does sound perfect in every way. What's not to celebrate about young people finding a way to simultaneously make people happy and fund their activities. I'm thinking your post will probably prompt similar events elsewhere...

Valentine's at our house? Homemade pizza and a card exchange--our own version of perfect.

Nathalie said...

Oooh, this sounds perfect (especially as a mom!) - Happy Valentine's Day to you and your loved ones Sian :)

Ladkyis said...

Valentine's Day? we just don't do it. I suppose it's because Mr M's birthday is three days before and we are usually still stuffed from his birthday treat. This year the floods prevented a treat so we are saving it for an un-birthday treat when the weather clears and the world gets back to normal

Kirsty.A said...

What a fantastic idea. I must suggest to R's scouts!

Becky said...

What a wonderful memory! We don't do much round here - a card is just about it. We celebrate more on our anniversary.

Karen said...

What a wonderful memory! I can't think of a single Valentine's Day that compares . . . We usually stay home because the restaurants are too crowded!

Louise said...

Ahhhh that's a perfect valentines story!I hope you had a good day x

Jimjams said...

A lovely tale - a great fund-raiser. Happy Valentine's!

Sandie said...

What a great way to celebrate and fund raise at the same time. A lovely memory and story told.

Melissa said...

What a fantastic Valentine's story - it certainly was well thought out and executed by those Scouts!

Our first Valentine's Day, Robbie left home at 7 am and returned at 2 am the next morning! It was ok though because the company he worked for sold out & we got a big check that paid off lots of debt & gave our marriage a fresh start. (God was so good to give us that blessing!)

Jo said...

It sounds like a really wonderful night :)

Denise said...

What a lovely Valentine's day and a grand idea for fundraising x Clever scouts

Missus Wookie said...

Oh what a special fund raising - bet that was popular with everyone else too :)

Alison said...

What a clever fundraising idea..it sounds like a perfect night!
Alison xx

S said...

It sounds like it was quite lovely. I think being a Scout should be a requirement for all public officials. It's a real art to think of everything in the planning and then carry it all out in great camaraderie.

Lisa-Jane said...

What a fantastic idea! And a creche too?! Well that is just splendid!

Jennifer Grace said...

Oh, that's sounds so good, what a lovely way to spend valentine's day! We normally just end up watching a movie at home. Actually hubby works at Clinton Cards now, so he's usually had enough of valentine's day by the time it arrives! x

Gail said...

That sounds wonderful Sian and boy they thought of everything! With all the excitement of the trip this year we completely forgot about Valentines Day but luckily were able to get reservations at one of the specialty restaurants.

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