Remember those old time Valentine card craft books? You had to cut your own cards out and then paste together the envelopes. They had cute drawings with awful love puns and no matter how careful I was, they always turned out crooked, torn and sort of pathetic looking. And remember when you used to be able to bring cards only for the people you liked! I guess some time in the 80’s ‘they’ started making you bring cards for everyone so no one would feel left out. You may think it was cruel for some kids to over-look other kids and deny them the fun of receiving badly crafted art but I say maybe it was a character building lesson that spawned the true entrepreneurs in the class. Hey, every kid knows and kind of enjoys that Valentine ‘love’ can be bought with chocolate. Who cares about cards when you can have candy and gummy hearts! Extorting friendship for sweets, that has to be a transferable life skill somewhere out there. And considering my earlier observation about how the time spent to completed product ratio was sort of skewed in favor of making as few cards as possible, maybe it was more laziness than intended exclusion. Whatever the case, I find it weird that Valentine’s Day is sort of mutually hated by so many and I wonder if it all starts with those dang cards in elementary school…
This year, I dragged out my never-diminishing pile of craft supplies to cobble together a couple of my own Valentine cards. To my surprise, my 17 year old daughter joined me. We haven’t done a project in ages. But I think the best part was laughing about all these well intentioned, anti-bully, ‘inclusion-for-everyone’ ideas. She agreed that life is tough and people get hurt no matter how you try to protect them. And then (again!), to my surprise, she pointed out that we survive most of it, and maybe that’s a better lesson to learn. Maybe kids her age would have less stress and anxiety if they knew early on that they could handle more than they are given and maybe they would learn to problem solve earlier in life!
Hold the phone! I think I just witnessed a Valentine/Family Day miracle!
There is something so gratifying about hearing your children put together all the pieces you feed them over the years. The brief instant when you actually behold their ‘ah-ha’ moment and connect with them on a newer, more mature level.
For a second the lights glowed brighter and I swear I heard a chorus of angels.
And then she got up and left a trail of glitter, wet paint and about a billion tiny pieces of paper clippings all the way to her room.
Sigh…one small triumph at a time.
Cheers and Happy Family Day!