will you be my valentine?

Tis the season of sweethearts and love.

Candy stamped “Be Mine” and chocolate hearts.

A dozen roses blushed red.

Cards scrawled in crayon, “I love you, mommy.”

A warm fuzzy day full of little girl hugs and kisses.

It’s Valentine’s Day.

However, the big day brings the dreaded classroom valentine card assembly.

With one kindergartener and one preschooler, we had fifty-eight cards to construct and sign this year.

In past years, I’ve chosen the standard valentine-in-a-box themed with cartoon characters route. I encouraged my daughter to sign her own, but inevitably I ended up signing her name to the majority. Not to mention, most valentines seem to include the most labor intensive folding systems ever invented. Impossible for the younger crowd to complete.

I was inspired this year and thought it would be a good idea to make our valentines. So, I ordered the valentine kits from my favorite craft store for kids, “Kiwi Crate.” Popular already in this household with the monthly delivery of unique craft projects; Kiwi Crate offered adorable handmade pop-up valentines this season.

The girls were excited to get started and they each made about six. Result? Misplaced googly eyes, pop-ups glued the wrong direction, and jeweled hearts stuck on the floor and their hair.

Score? Kids=1, Me=0.

Time to switch my strategy. I put them in charge of completing the valentine punch outs; sticking on googly eyes and sparkly hearts. They were the assembly line, so I could fold the cards and glue on the finished punch outs. Time well spent that rainy Sunday morning.

Today was signing day. I carefully counted out enough valentines for each class. Placed them in white paper bags marked with their names and set out a rainbow of markers.

Surprisingly, they both sat down and signed each and every card. No complaints. Just neat piles autographed in block letters. I love little kid penmanship.

All in all, a success for this year. The girls are excited to attend their upcoming Valentine’s Day parties.

Mia tells me, “Momma, I don’t think I’ll get any valentines at school.” I assure her that she will get dozens. I’m not sure why she thinks that, she is well liked and has a bunch of friends. I think it was a ploy to get an extra hug, which I was happy to give.

I will comment that the current version of the holiday is definitely not the Valentine’s day I had back in elementary school. In those days, kids could give valentines to anyone they wanted with no teacher or parent intervention. So while the popular kids received piles of heart-shaped messages of love and friendship, the non-popular kids received very few. I was one of the latter kids, so I may be just be a little scarred from that experience.

It’s all very organized these days, each child must bring a valentine for every child in the class. This ensures both girls will come home with a bag full of valentines and big smiles.

Now, all I have to do is fold fifty-eight flaps into an impossible tab. Onward!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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