Why I’m making tiny capes today

heart

Although I believe Valentine’s Day to be one in a long line of commercially exploited holidays, this evening will find me at the dining room table cutting out tiny capes (and swearing) in an attempt to inject a little joy into my young son’s school celebration.

I do this not because I am Mom of the Year (last time I checked, I was ranked a distant 7,383,458) but because I am nostalgic for the days when holidays in school really meant something. Say what you will, there were some things the 70’s really had going for them.

I do it because this is the only holiday kids still celebrate in our public schools. And I think it’s sad. I understand why we secularize the schools, and at a foundational level I approve, but it still feels joyless. Gone are the days when school children learned Christmas carols at school, or discussed, with reverence, the first Thanksgiving, a particularly polarizing event where we live.

Even Halloween, with its costumed parade and party, is gone. (Although why it is deemed more threatening than a holiday named after St. Valentine I do not know. I think it has more to do with enforcing the dress code and the zero-tolerance weapons policy.)

When I was a kid, valentines were something to see. They were actual cards that opened and closed, and they were delivered in envelopes with your name carefully printed on the front. And giving the valentines was as fun as getting them. Each card in the box was different, and we spent hours matching each card to the appropriate recipient. (Although, come to think of it, there was always one dog you ended up giving to the kid who sat behind you during science and threw wadded-up paper into your hair.)

But I’m honoring the good times, so tiny capes it is, soon to be affixed to 30 gluten-free, peanut-free, cherry suckers. Bring on the scissors. And maybe a glass of wine or two.

While there will be no trophy, my effort did earn me some faint praise from my son. As he put it, “Regular moms just buy valentines at the store, but you do a lot of work. You’re an irregular mom.”

Oh, and by the way – should you desire to make the little capes yourselves, here is a link to the pattern from Zakka Life. Surely you didn’t think I made this one up on my own? If yes, you clearly are not a regular reader.

Superhero Valentine

Picture and project credit: www.zakkalife.com

Have a good one, commercial exploitation and all.

 

Love, actually

I hear the muttering – the under-the-breath comments you don’t have the nerve to say too loudly. I know we don’t always agree. But it’s not my role to agree with you all the time.

Part of my job as your mom is to make unpopular decisions. To tell you no. To correct your behavior. I know that sometimes you interpret that to mean that I don’t love you. That I’m not of your side.

But it’s not true. I do love you, even if I don’t always express it in the way you expect. If I didn’t love you:

  • IMG_0165I wouldn’t make you wear a hat and gloves to school.
  • I wouldn’t spend hours shopping and cooking to put interesting, healthy food on the table even though I know at least one of you will refuse to eat it.
  • I wouldn’t make you redo your math problems when you get them wrong the first time.
  • I wouldn’t make your bed for you when you should be making it yourself.
  • I wouldn’t drive you all over the universe and spend entire days sitting on a cold, metal bench just to watch you lose a heartbreaking game.
  • I wouldn’t turn your dirty socks right-side out before I wash them.
  • I wouldn’t make you go to bed on time, eat your vegetables, and check in your phone at night.
  • I wouldn’t let you see the real me, faults and all. What better way for you to know that people are imperfect and you can love them anyway.

I wouldn’t tell you that winning isn’t everything. That self-respect is. That you are loved but you need to be your own best friend.

Happy Valentine’s Day, my loves. I am always on your side. And I know you love me, too, whether you say it or not.