My earliest valentine memory was first grade I believe, we had to create little mailboxes for our little paper cartoon valentines, so instead of walking from person to person and handing them out, we just popped them into the mailboxes, and then everyone got to open their boxes at the end of the day. I was very excited about my valentine-box. My mom and I had stayed up late (maybe? I don’t know what time of day we did it) and took a plastic cookie container that was round and fairly large. It had contained those pink wafer cookies with frosting… anyway, my mom and I took scraps of pink wallpaper and fabrics and we découpaged them to the plastic and then added big red hearts and such. I was so proud of it.
Looking back, my mom and I did a really good job on that, and I shouldn’t have been embaressed by it, but that’s childhood (and hindsight) for you. But moving on…
I was so upset when I got to school and mine wasn’t as good as everyone elses. I didn’t vocalize my disappointment and I stood fakely proud by my valentines box, but I was sad. Other people had made theirs out of wood! Or had boxes bought from the store. Mine was discarded cookie trash covered in pink scraps and glue.
I don’t remember the valentines in the box. I don’t remember what pink dress I was probably wearing. I don’t even remember who my friends were in that class. I just remember that box. I kept it, even with my disappointment, and I’m pretty sure my mom still has it in her craft room holding odds and ends inside of it.
There is no moral to this story. My mom did her best and because other parents were huge overacheivers, or, lazy and bought the boxes instead, either way resulting in mine not looking as nice. So, don’t help your kids make over extravegent school projects because it makes the rest of the kids sad. haha, I’m kidding. Valentines day is silly. If anything is done between a couple it should be sweet and simple. Two years ago Kyle gave me a heart shaped box full of sushi and flowers. Last year he gave me a DVD and I gave him a CD and some new sunglasses. This year, I can’t give him anything except the little handwritten note I gave him last night, and in return he asked me to be his valentine and we smiled and hugged. It was sweet and simple and good enough for me. All that matters is that I have him, and I do, so I’m thrilled.