Valentine’s. A wonderfully terrific, romantic holiday … or a glorified Hallmark tradition? Depending whom I speak with, it’s usually one or the other.
As for me? Neither. I simply don’t care. There are no words devoted to Valentine’s Day. Just a lot of rolling of eyes and gnashing of teeth.
Okay, so … maybe I have a couple words, or I wouldn’t be writing this blog. I am the Ebenezer Scrooge of Valentine’s Day, so all I have to say is, “Bah, Humbug.”
Bah, freaking, humbug.
No great, glorified Valentine memories jump out at me. When I was married, if he remembered, I got wilted flowers from a 6 PM run to the grocery store on his way home from work. Before I was married, I had one Valentine. He dropped off a CD, said he had plans with his buddies, so check ya later.
What cherished, wonderful memories. Glad I dumped both of them.
So, as a single mom, walking into preschool, hearing all the bubbly teachers tell me I had to make a Valentine’s Day box, I couldn’t summon the energy to care. My first rant involved the fact that people don’t just keep shoeboxes in their house.
I mean, do they?
Okay, okay, I’ll admit it. I own some shoeboxes, but they are for cherished shoes. The expensive ones we women shove at the top of our closets, and dig down once in a blue moon. The last time I took one down was in 2010.
So, I ranted on Facebook enough that my best girlfriend took pity on me and gave me one of her shoeboxes. Which, before handing it to me, probably carried one of her expensively cherished shoes.
Then she looked at me and said, “What is the theme?”
What? These things have to have a theme? I don’t care about Valentine’s. I really hate when I have to bust out my internal Craft Goddess. Because, well, Christmas comes once a year, and that’s enough for me. Now, for the next seven years, I have to be in charge of creating a themed box to bring to school?
Why me, why me, why me?
Mom called as I was internally ranting–and openly Facebook ranting–over the idea that not only did I have to have a box, and have to make a special trip to buy the bric-a-brac that goes on this box, but now it has to be more than blown-on glitter with hodgepodge hearts. She invited me over for dinner–I think, it could have been something else, scatterbrained as I am–and I drove over to her house. There, on the counter, was my niece’s beautifully decorated Valentine’s Day box.
That box was everything I knew I wouldn’t do.
I wanted to shoot dirty looks at the World in general in that moment. How dare everyone else be so dang excited about Valentine’s Day, and Valentine’s Day boxes!!
At least, I felt that way, until I took Tiny to the grocery store. The one person who can melt this momma’s heart like nothing else is wrapped up in a sweet, little, green-eyed, tiny human. He looked at me as we entered the store and said, “Mommy, if you’re pretty, someone should buy you flowers. You’re the prettiest mommy, so I’m going to buy you flowers.”
Best. Valentine’s. Day. Ever.
I nearly flung myself on the ground and cried. What can I say? I’m a total pile of gushy mess when it comes to being loved by my child. He bought me flowers, I stuffed in the sobs, and we got through the store, somehow. As soon as we got home, I suddenly remembered something very important for the Valentine’s Day box.
Once upon a time, a thousand years ago, back when I had black hair, no husband to ex out, and no tiny human to chase around, I was crafty. Or, maybe I just thought I was crafty. In any case, shoved under the depths of my bed is a huge, giant box filled with thousands of pounds of all things scrappy. Things I don’t remember buying, let alone owning.
So, I yanked out the box, and dug through its depths, surfacing with a five-inch pile of Valentine’s Day crap. Papers, stickers, letters, phrases, ribbons, you name it, somehow I owned it. Tiny and I trooped to the table to start decorating the box, with him super excited to use the glue stick.
Well, he abandoned me two minutes in, and told me I could do a good job, because he needed to find Power Ranger’s hand.
Crafting, designing, cutting, gluing, pasting, and everything sucked an entire hour out of my life. Writing all the Valentine’s Day cards to Tiny’s schoolmates took another hour out of my life. Cleaning up the mess from the box took about another hour, especially after I dropped glitter all over the place. That was fun.
So, in total, about three hours out of my life will be spent crafting boxes and making cards for a holiday that brings out the Scrooge in me. But, at least next year, my Tiny Valentine will be able to help more, and help with writing the cards.
And, at the end of the day, I have to remember I’m doing this for my greatest love, for my tiny heart, for my Tiny Tot.
For him, I would bedazzle the world.