From Melissa: Two Heartfelt Messages for Valentine’s Day

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we asked Melissa to share some thoughts inspired by the upcoming holiday!

Two messages from Melissa

What do you LOVE most about your job?

 What I love most about my job is the creation process.  There is nothing more fulfilling or exciting to me (other than having children!!!!) than starting with just a brainstorm, and nurturing it through the process until it is born into a tangible product to be enjoyed by children.  It is truly intoxicating to have a job that allows me to create something out of nothing.

I also love watching children use our products in ways that I never intended. That is the essence of creativity…breaking free from convention and using something in a completely unique and different manner than ever planned.  It is almost as if some products take on a life of their own once they are in the hands of children who know no limits or boundaries.  It reminds me how so many of us lose that reckless abandon once we enter the regimented world of responsibility and adulthood!  How fortunate my husband and I are that we have found a vocation that rewards us for thinking like children!

What have been your favorite homemade Valentine’s Day gifts from your kids throughout the years?

I cannot hear the words “I love you” from my children enough.  Maybe that’s because I have gone through the teenage years with them twice already, and know that those words virtually disappear from their vocabularies for many years!!!  So I now realize I need to build up a stockpile during the early years to console me and draw from during the latter ones!  Therefore, any Valentine’s gift that contains the words “I love you so much” is one I currently treasure more than ever.  The gifts I enjoy the most, however, include intimate and revealing personal details, whether through a poem with lots of insightful and meaningful tidbits about the family and our eccentricities, or a hand-drawn picture that includes lots of personal and experiential references.  These mementos not only make me smile or cry, but remind me of how important family bonds, rituals and memories are to children.

* * *

What have been YOUR favorite Valentine’s Day gifts over the years? Share with us in the comments below, or join the conversation on Facebook!