Happy Love Day: An Open Letter to Our Community

I'm not gonna lie: I'm not a fan of Valentine's Day.

To me it feels contrived, cheesy, and awkward.

The pressure, the expectation, the high-fructose corn syrup, the non-recyclable plastic junk, the compulsory nature of it.

Plus that neon pink aisle at Walgreens. And ALL.THOSE.POSTS. on Facebook.

Yeah, I am not a fan; I'm that girl.

And now that I'm mom to 2 kids in daycare -- kids with a lot of daycare friends whose parents give handmade gift bags to each child, replete with handmade gift tags, filled with home-baked cookies and chocolate treats -- the stakes are even higher.

"WOW! You baked and decorated all these cookies yourself? Wow...they're so... Wow..."

Because, truth be told, I pretty much suck at Valentine's Day.

Sorry babies, mommy didn't bake any cookies for your friends. I didn't make any Valentines either, not even the plug-and-play kind from that said pink aisle. And mad apologies for not dressing you in pink and then memorializing the occasion with a heartwarming photo posted to Facebook.

Sorry awesome husband, we have 2 kids under 3 years old, and I have a non-profit to launch, and I'm still pumping and getting up 2-3 times a night to nurse. What did you think was going to happen tonight?

And were it not for my sister-in-law's timely/ill-timed elopement ceremony and dinner tonight(!!!) -- an event that was scheduled only a couple of week before, it'd be another epic #FAIL of a Valentine's Day on the record books for me on my part. (Way to solidify our sisterhood with such as a**-saving act of kindness, Crystal Ngo!)

But before you blast me on these here interwebs for being a VDay hater/failure, please allow me to explain why I'm writing this post to begin with.

I'm here getting ready to write the schmoopiest love letter OF ALL TIME <kanye voice> because, on this eve of the first session of the MotherCoders pilot, we can't help but declare mad, mad love for you, our community, for making all this possible.

And isn't it just super ironical that this comes on Valentine's Day?!!!  I mean, the cosmic justice of it is totally LOLOLOLOLOL, right?

So here goes.

We love you for believing in us and what we can do together to create a better world.

We love you for giving us your time and advice, mentorship and financial support.

We love you for having our backs and showing up for us.

We love you for loving us.

Thank you. Because we can't make it without you.

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Special shout-out to Paria Rowand, dear friend and proprietor of Royal Cafe in Albany, CA, for sponsoring lunch for our first lunchtime speaker session. Thank you, sister. I love you. I love our friendship. I love that we're both moms now. I love that I got to meet yours.

Everyone, please go have brunch at Royal Cafe the next time you're in the SF Bay Area. Their scones, which come a side of lemon kurd, are delish!

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And, of course, a BIG THANK YOU to Amrita Thakur, my grad school classmate who's now Director of Technical Product Management at Teachscape. We're grateful for you taking time away from your precious family to come speak with our moms about product life cycles and technology stacks. I couldn't think of a better person to kick off our lunchtime speaker series. (Full write-up about this next week.)

So happy love day, you awesome person in our community, you. Keep that good stuff coming!

Love,

Tina