It continues to this day. My mom is in her 80th year and still, like clockwork, packages arrive filled with holiday surprises and that ever-present card. There's one other consistent item included in these gifts: Russell Stover chocolates. My mom loves Russell Stover chocolates. So in nearly every package there are a few individually wrapped treats. They take a variety of shapes depending on the holiday in question. There are Santas and Snowmen. Pumpkins and bunnies. And of course hearts. Some are filled with caramel. Some with peanut butter. And some with marshmallow.
When you have a mom as charming and thoughtful as mine, after a while it's easy to take these packages for granted. So it was a delightful surprise when Felix moved in with me and encountered his first holiday package from my mom. He was delighted. He loved this tradition. Even though they came addressed to me, he quickly assumed shared ownership. This reminded me how excited I used to get all those years ago in college when there was nothing better than a note in your mailbox notifying you of a waiting package.
There were times when Felix would arrive home before me and find a box waiting on the porch. I'd enter the house to find him excitedly waiting so we could open it. As it turns out, Felix loves Russell Stover chocolates too, particularly those of the marshmallow persuasion. Over time, there developed an unspoken agreement between us that any Russell Stover chocolate-covered marshmallow treats were his. For some reason, this silliness made us both happy.
So here it is, the month of February. And just like clockwork, I arrive home late from a long day at work to find a package sitting on the front porch. It's addressed to me in my mother's loopy handwriting. I know what's inside: Valentine's Day treats, decorations, and a card that reminds me how much my mom loves me.
There is also a single Russell Stover chocolate covered marshmallow heart. And I have no idea what to do with it.