Happy Valentine’s Day!

No parent is able to remember each and every moment in their child’s life.  We remember snippets of things.  Little things stand out in our minds.  Some keep journals.  Some blog.

One moment I distinctly remember from Subway Dude’s Pre-K was Valentine’s Day.  SD hated and I mean hated to write.  His handwriting was not neat.  He did not like to take the time to put pen to paper.

The Major and I got our children into good habits that seemed to have lasted.  Homework was done immediately when you arrived home.  There was no playing until the homework was completed.  You could have a snack while you were working on your homework.  This is still the case today.

Addressing the Valentine cards was basically a homework assignment.  Subway Dude’s Pre-K teacher, Miss C, was adamant that the children address their Valentines on their own.  I was wise enough to know have SD begin this assignment early.

SD in stripes in the front. His 5th birthday party at the Buffalo Zoo.

Oh, the complaints.  Oh, the gnashing of teeth.  It was so unpleasant, but he got the job done.

Honestly, SD’s signature looks pretty much the same at 16 years old as it did at age 4.

I had my good times with The Fashionista at Valentine’s Day.  She and I are the only ones who care about handmade Valentines. We had fun during the elementary school years, laboring over homemade creations.   Back in the day, SD preferred the store bought kind.

Here we are 12 years later and I have another little boy addressing Valentines.  I picked out Island Boy’s cards last weekend.

IB’s came from the dollar store this year!  Score!  He was thrilled with the selection of Toy Story cards.

Captain Smooth

For two days in a row he asked to open the cards and get cracking on them.  I wasn’t sure he really understood what I was expecting him to do.  I wouldn’t let him open them because I didn’t have time to help him address the cards.   The box contained two different kinds of stickers.  Knowing IB as I do, I was certain in opening the box, the stickers would be flung hither and yon.

Finally, I had the time to sit down with him.  I came armed with his class list.  We actually had two different class lists and I was not certain which was more up-to-date.  One had 18 names and the other had 21.  We went with the bigger list.

He chose the appropriate Valentine for each friend.  I wrote the Friend’s name in pencil and he copied it in pen.  I thought his interest in the project would wane.  I anticipated it would take us several days to complete.

I was wrong.

He plowed through.  I had to stop him halfway into the process and asked him to slow down and work neater.  I said that Josh would not appreciate the Valentine if he couldn’t read his own name.  IB saw the wisdom in this logic.

I finished the names ahead of IB and pulled out the newspaper.  IB admonished me saying, “No, no, Mama.  You watch me.”

When he was finished, he proudly paraded his bag of Valentines around to every family member.  He had them each peer into his bag.  He refused to move on to the next person until they “ooo’ed” and “ahhh’ed” over his masterpieces.

Happy St. Valentine’s Day, everyone!

–Running Girl

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