Jack Valentine or Valentine’s knock, is a tradition in Norfolk and my family of essentially playing ‘ding dong ditch’ with gifts on the doorsteps or windows of a house for the kids.
These gifts are ‘left’ by Jack Valentine (or a helpful and hopefully speedy neighbour) for the children on the doorstep every Valentine’s day evening.
When February 14th rolled round every year other kids wanted to know who in the class had a crush on them, wheras I was looking forward to Jack Valentines visit. I didn’t get Valentine’s cards in primary school from my classmates, although I recall making sloppy glitter covered messes to send to childhood crushes. So I am always glad that my Mum carried on the traditional Valentine’s knock with me and my youngest brother.
It meant that both my brother and I with our in school dorkiness never felt left out if we didn’t have a Valentines. It has also meant that Valentines day for our family is more about the kids than the adults.
I bought all my nieces and nephews Jack Valentines gifts. Although I don’t think any will get there by the 14th and be dropped off by ‘Jack’ by a knock at the door I still like being able to do that.
I will certainly continue the valentines knock with any children I may have, which is why the idea of Valentine’s day is making me a little sad and nostalgic. It’s one of the things I’ve always dreamed of doing with children of my own and so now after Emmet, as with all such things it makes me wistful and the pull for a family of my own is stronger.
I am so grateful to my Mother for making traditions like this, and for consiquently always filling my childhood with sparks of joy that eclipse the shittier parts. It makes me proud to be a part of this family, and also makes me want to have traditions like that of my own.
As a child I didn’t understand that not everybody had Jack Ventine come to their door, I thought everyone did it, but now I realise most of that unwitting belief that everyone did things the way Mum did/does them is because she’s such a fantastic force of nature when it comes to raising kids, she did a lot of it independently when we were really little and I am so greatful to have my Mum and not anybody elses. I hope that one day I might be even half as good at raising kids.
Love and support always,
Surviving Miscarriage Together x