I’ve never been a huge fan of Valentine’s Day. Even as a kid, it didn’t interest me. Hearts and love were “girly” and that just wasn’t me. I even didn’t like cards with glitter long before I became a Mom and hating glitter became the “cool” thing to do.

Before my kids began any sort of schooling, I never made too big a deal about all the little holidays. Sure, I dressed them in adorable, holiday-appropriate outfits, because I’m not a monster! I’d even use cookie cutters to shape their sandwiches into hearts, or pumpkins, or shamrocks. But that’s pretty much where it ended for me.

Once they started school, however, it was a whole new ball game. Do you know what’s fun about trying to involve your 4-year old in filling out Valentine’s cards for their classmates? Nothing! There is nothing fun about it. They don’t know what you’re doing, and on the off chance they are able to sit still long enough for you to explain it to them, they don’t care!

Then, there’s all the crap they bring home after the class Valentine’s Day party. They dump their bags on the coffee table and instantly begin peeling the tiny stickers off of their tiny paper backings that end up all over the floor. Then they immediately need you to put on every tattoo they received up and down their arms until they look like they’re in the most adorable little biker gang.

There’s the candy hearts, and heart shaped lollipops, and pins. Am I guilty of buying Valentine’s cards that include some of these things? You betcha! But that’s beside the point.

valentine's dayThen you have the pencils – good Lord, the pencils! Pencils have been the bane of my parenting existence. We have gotten them since before my kids could even make a scribble for everything from birthday parties, to Halloween, to Easter, and every holiday in between. But Valentine’s Day is the by far the biggest offender. And no, I have never given Valentine’s cards that include pencils.

I do have to say that as your children make their way through elementary school, it gets better. They begin to enjoy putting together Valentine’s cards for their friends, trying to match the character on the card with what they think each classmate likes the best, and they actually need to use all those pencils (although we have so many that you can’t really tell). But the first time they are able to write and put together their Valentine’s all by themselves is special kind of magic.

Okay, maybe it’s not quite as good as that first smile, but it’s really, really close.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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