Happy Valentine’s Day!
Every year on Valentine’s Day, I’m reminded of how much I loved this day as a child. My dad always bought me a heart-shaped box of chocolates. In fact, he still does. He buys one for Sugar and Spice too. Even EN gets his favorite candy bar!
I remember prepping for this day for what felt like weeks. At school, the classroom would be decorated and we would put together some sort of mailbox or “mail sack” made out of a little brown paper bag. At home, I can remember writing out Valentines for my class, but I was never one of the fancy kids who gave out conversation hearts along with theirs. Sometimes, I would bring cupcakes made by my mom for the class party. I remember loving the games we played on this day, looking at the cards I got from everyone else and having a party during school hours.
On our first Valentine’s Day with Sugar, I remember writing out little cards for everyone that she was in daycare with. I think there were only three other kids. Sadly, I was the only mom who did this, so I didn’t write out those little cards again until she entered preschool.
Does anyone notice how much these cards have changed? Back in our day, they seemed to have about ten varieties and they all came with those cute little envelopes. Now, there are no envelopes, you fold the cheap cards and seal with a sticker. There are a thousand varieties and some come with accessories. You can get Valentines that come along with candy, pencils, tattoos… Now EVERY kid gives a card + something, not just a little card in an envelope. The only thing I remembered doing special, was writing a little extra message in the cards for my friends. Or actually drawing a heart on the card I was giving to a boy I really liked. I almost always used a red pen and still use one today for Christmas and Valentine’s Day cards. That’s about as creative as this girl gets.
Since Sugar entered preschool, we’ve done cards every year. One year we bought plain cards and puffy glitter stickers and she worked for weeks making each one special. Notice I said we did that “one year.” We went right back to those store-bought cards. Now if we feel like getting fancy, we bring chocolate dipped pretzels to school. Much easier that spelling out H-A-P-P-Y-V-A-L-E-N-T-I-N-E-S-D-A-Y twenty times, despite the fact that she had it written right in front of her. This year, Sugar is in middle school and therefore “too old” to participate in such nonsense. There is no party at school and she didn’t bring cards. However, she did bring a bunch of Valentine-themed pencils to give to her friends. She tried to take 50, but I assured her that as my child, there’s no way on earth that she could possibly like 50 people.
Spice has done cards since she was a baby. Her daycare celebrated every holiday and we always participated. I always contributed a treat, and for years wrote out the cards myself. Before long, she was writing her own name and drawing pictures on every. Single. Card.
I wondered what to expect at this new school, were outside food isn’t allowed to be shared and Halloween was deemed “too scary” to be celebrated. Several weeks ago, we received a list of names of every child in the class. We bought Toy Story cards for the girls and puppies/kittens for the girls. Spice worked for days, making sure each name was properly written and every card had a rendering of something or another. She is meticulous and very creative. No rushing that girl.
Last week, I was surprised to read in the newsletter that if a child chooses to bring in cards for the classroom, they needed to bring one in for every single kid. I am surprised because it never would have occurred to me to do anything but. The thought of excluding someone would never have crossed my mind as a kid or even as an adult. I asked EN if he did cards as a kid and he said he never thought of leaving someone out either. If it’s true that kids purposely exclude someone and that message needs to be said out loud, I’m disappointed in the world we’ve become.
I remember kids in my classes that I really didn’t like for some reason or another. I remember kids being mean to me, but I always, ALWAYS acknowledged them with a card on this day. When I help the girls with their cards and the next name on the list is someone they don’t like, I wonder if they’ll try to skip over that one… Nope, never. I don’t think it occurs to them either.
Last night was a flurry of getting everything together, both before the girls went to bed and after. We organzinzed the stuff for Spice’s day and wrote out EN’s cards. I bought them each a small gift (no candy, they already got that from my dad!) and fancy tissue paper and gift bags.
I awoke this morning to find roses from EN and the girls woke up early to check out their gift bags. Tonight EN will be working… In lieu of making my heart-shaped meat loaf (yes I really did that!) in my kitchenless home, I will take the chicks to dinner.
Wishing you all a happy, lovey day!