It's Valentine's day. Funny how this holiday seemed so significant when I had no one to be my valentine, but now that I have someone to love today doesn't seem like much at all - just a reason to allow myself to eat candy, really.
I decided not to buy valentines for my daughter in favor of making valentines for her preschool classmates. I dutifully folded and cut up multi-colored construction paper cards and steadily wrote, "Happy Valentine's Day" on all of them. I set them out on our dining table with heart stickers, glue and sequins, puffy paint, and other assorted craft bits for my daughter to use as decoration. I was excited that I'd summoned the creativity to present such an entertaining project to my daughter, and I'll admit I was feeling a bit superior - ready to strike appropriate guilt into the hearts of those preschool parents who'd simply purchased ready-made valentines or worse, no valentines at all.
The first kink in the works was my daughter's refusal to decorate a single valentine. Not one. She decided she would rather adhere stickers to her shirt and to our dog. No matter, I simply put them aside and decided to try again over the weekend. Only I forgot. And I didn't remember that I'd forgotten until Monday morning when we were on our way to preschool. I calmed myself into the realization that since it was a Monday, most of the other parents had probably forgotten, too. The preschool didn't make any mention of it, and I bet almost no one paid attention to it whatsoever.
When we got to her room, however, my daughter's cubby was already filled with four valentines, all attached to some sort of sugary goodness. I gave her a kiss and hug and raced home. I opened a diet coke and flipped off my boots in favor of my oh-so comfy slippers. After all, this was serious business. I dug out the construction paper cards, stickers and markers and forged my daughter's artistry.
Oh yes I did.
I stuck stickers, scrawled shapes and scribbled lines. I made sure each card had just the right ratio of stickers-to-markers adornment before I stacked it neatly and moved on to the next. In the end, though the cards didn't boast some kind of take-home treat, at least they had been lovingly handmade (or so I hoped everyone would believe).
Next thing I knew, it was time to pick up my daughter. I hopped into the car and raced over there. Once I arrived and was on my way through the parking lot towards the building I realized two things:
1. I'd forgotten to bring the valentines, and
2. I was still wearing my slippers.