Posted on February 14th, 2013
am not crafty. I don’t sew or knit. I don’t even own a hot glue gun. And for the first five to seven years of my children’s lives, I’m not sure I could have thought of anything less fun than sitting down around a table with The Three, some scissors, several jars of glitter and an open bottle of glue so that they could make their own valentines.
We have other not-so-solemn observances in our home on Valentine’s Day, too, and the preparations and ceremonies attendant to marking that holiday have helped to contribute to my lack of enthusiasm for making tiny, heart-shaped remembrances to a classroom of kids I don’t know. So for years, my children have taken store-bought valentines to their friends at school, and you know what? It’s been fine.
The Three are a little bigger every year, though, and while one has outgrown elementary school parties and heart-shaped, paper plate mailboxes taped to his desk, the other have not. For the second year in a row, Peaches made her own valentines. She used construction paper and glitter glue and a ballpoint pen. She would have finished all 23 a lot sooner if she would have stopped drawing her damn cats all over them.
“I might do something cute on the inside,” she said, thoughtfully.
The pile of paper hearts she built over two days made me catch my breath. ‘We are too busy for Valentine’s Day,’ I have thought so often over the past several years. ‘We do not have time for this manufactured sentiment!’ But Peaches’ impermanent monument to caring for others—in even the most modest of ways—reminded me that there isn’t much else that I should be finding the time for and so I am off now to make four valentines of my own.
Happy Valentine’s Day.∗