Not what I had pictured

I don’t know where my obsession with homemade valentines began.

My earliest memory is sitting at my kitchen table in my apartment after D#1. My fella was in kindergarten. We sat at the table and I hand cut out bubble letters to correspond to each child’s name. His job-to decorate them and to say something nice about every child in his class.

The first 5 were fun and fulfilling. I admit that I was quite proud of myself. Then came the rest of them. Trying to keep a 5 year old boy engaged and interested in writing proved frustrating-(shocker right). It’s also harder to say something nice about everyone. In the end I was willing to let the “shanika is okay because she doesn’t bother me” count as nice. We’d already come back to her name twice. It was the best he could do and at that point I was over it all.

There were tears and tantrums (mine) and I vowed never again.

Until the next year. And the next and the next. It’s always the same.
2/1 I feel creative and frugal. I feel like a good mom.
2/13 I feel like an idiot. For $2.50 I could have princess cards that came with candy!
2/15 as I toss the valentines into the trash I feel like a complete and utter moron. What was I thinking???? Did I really believe that anyone gives 2 hoots about homemade valentines?


If a picture is worth a 1,000 words then this one sums up valentines day.

I spent hours. Hours…sitting on he floor cutting paper hearts out of various pieces of scrapbook paper and gluing them to fishing line. Hours. I cut and glued and glued and cut until I could cut and glue no more. I’d crafted my own heart backdrop!

In full crazy-homemade-valentine-physco-mom mode I grabbed the girls and dressed them in frilly-fancy frocks for the full on photo shoot. I even had props for gods sake; Props I had hand painted just for the occasion.

I had a vision.


And in the middle of my directing, Manipulating and maneuvering to get the perfect valentine picture—- this happened.


That’s My precious-shy baby girl in her pink satin ruffled frock literally taking down her 11year old sister. This chokehold that would have made any cage fighter proud. I mean check out those hands-she’s got them interlocked! Shes like a snapping turtle who ain’t letting go until it thunders (that’s when my dad says they let go anyway). Regardless, We are talking a serious chokehold here. Before my bigger daughter turned blue from lack of oxygen- this photo was snapped. And it’s priceless.

Can you see the handcut heart backdrop in the background? Nope. Can you tell I arranged the hearts so that no 2 had the same pattern of paper? Nope. Can you tell the heart garland was made of double sided hearts so that no unsightly white paper would show? Uhhh-NO. Can you see the fancy, frilly frocks? Nope. Can you see we actually did the elders hair for the event?? Yup-still a no.

And I love it. It reminds me that life really is what happens when you are making other plans. It reminds me not to take myself too seriously when I get in my I-can-make-that moods. ‘Cause in the end the truth is that I will make homemade valentines as long as I have someone to hand them out. And the other truth-no one but me cares. The last truth is that both of those first truths are okay.


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