Valentine’s Made Easy

Being a social media junkie mom means I spend a lot of time on Pinterest and Instagram. I also surround myself with a village of super crafty ladies. And that means that I see a lot of super sweet holiday ideas, especially at Valentine’s Day.

With the move, a busier than I would like to admit workload, and being pregnant, I let Valentine’s slip this year. In the past, we’ve pulled off some cute ones with the help of my Cricut and stamps. But this year? I bought 99 cent boxes of Valentines and felt like a total mom failure.

My heart filled with so much love for my (big) babies when I sat down to have them fill out their cards. Arianna’s teacher advised not to do it all (write the TO and FROM) in one night. I tore her set of 20 apart and asked her to focus on the FROM, writing her name small and in proper Arianna form. Then I went to my office to get Evan’s box prepared. By the time I returned with 20 dinosaur cards split up, she announced her name was on all of them. I got Evan going on his FROM (he is still working on getting away from EVAN with “excited A’s” that take up the whole page, but doing very well) and then showed Arianna her list of classmates. Both finished their 20 at the same time, leaving me behind on the fold and sticker job. Heart melt.

Both of our kids’ teachers said they would not need boxes or bags for collecting, they were doing them at school. Mommy win. Phew. One less thing to fuss over…although I still felt like I failed my kids because we didn’t have pin-perfect love notes for their friends.

So today when both returned home from school and showed off their bags, I cried and cried. My sweeties are in classes of kids who also don’t have pin-perfect moms. There was not one crafty card, and only a few tokens of pencils (and in Arianna’s case, some candy…none for Evan as his head start doesn’t have them bring in candy, THANK YOU FOR NOT FEEDING MY SUGAR BEAR!!!). I was not alone on my island of boxed cards.

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The “from” filled out by 3 and 4 year olds is what did me in most. You could just feel the love and happiness behind them…and it was even greater knowing the impact simple celebrations can have on families of the other kids in his class.

And that’s when I realized that we as Internet parents have done our kiddos some injustice. Sending in over the top treats that just end up all over the floor and later in the trash are just not worth it. But the love? Hearing my 4 year old scream of joy as he read his classmates’ names over and over? Hearing my 6 year old tell me about what makes her classmates and their cards so cool? That’s what it is about.

Do I miss the cool crafty cards? Yes. No doubt. Do I think you kids’ cards are super awesome and share worthy? Absolutely. But are they what is right in my family’s right now? Nope. And that’s just the message of love I needed to bring me back to earth this Valentine’s Day.

Wishing you a day filled with love and happiness…as well as flowers, chocolates, and steak if that’s your thing. But me? My holiday has already  been made by the simple ways my kids are sharing love in their lives.

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