Valentine’s Day is approaching and you can tell by looking around my house. I would say “Cupid wuz here” but that would be much too simple. My house looks more like Cupid had an epileptic seizure here. There is glitter on every single surface of my house, clinging to carpets and little girls’ eyelashes. It would seem that no matter how many times I’ve washed my 4-year-old’s hair, she still has glitter stuck to her scalp.
With three daughters, every Valentine’s Day is fairly entertaining - we’ve moved through several stages of Valentine’s Day Shock and Awe.
Sadie, my 4-year-old is in the “candy, candy, candy” phase. Valentine’s Day means she gets to give candy, she gets to get candy and she gets to eat candy. Win, win, win, in her book.
Emma, my 6ix-year-old, has advanced to the stage where she is now doodling boy’s names in hearts on her school papers, a different name every day, and asking her older sister to “tattoo” said names on her teeny tiny bicep with a Sharpie. I’m a little worried about this one.
Aubrey, my 8-year-old, isn’t going to say no to free candy, but she has enjoyed handcrafting a custom Valentine for each of her friends more than anything this year. The two younger girls wanted store bought cards but Aubrey wanted to make her own. She painstakingly spelled out each of her classmates’ names with foam letters and just like Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web, spent hours deciding over just the right word to let her friends know how she felt.
The girls’ cards were easy, words like “cute,” “sweet” and “funny” could be used with abandon. But the boys were trickier. I suggested the word “awesome,” for one card but Aubrey objected.
“I just don’t want anybody to get the wrong idea,” Aubrey said thoughtfully.
We had worked on the girls’ Valentine boxes and cards all week and planned on finishing them up over the weekend. On Saturday I slept through my alarm and was surpised to wake up late in the morning. I was appreciative that my husband had let me sleep in and that the girls had stayed out of the bedroom to let me sleep until I walked into the kitchen and saw where Cupid had a grand mal seizure.
Glitter covered every surface and was piled like sand on the kitchen table. I stood slack jawed while my husband pressed a cup of coffee into my hand.
“What?” I took a deep breath, “What happened?”
“You gave them glitter,” he said.
My eyes almost popped out of my head. “I gave them glitter?? I was asleep.”
“They said you gave them glitter,” he corrected himself.
“Um, no. I bought glitter for them to use under direct supervision. I had nothing to do with… this,” I gestured to the bouquet of stickers lovingly applied to the legs of the kitchen table.
I love watching my girls grow and change, Valentine’s Day is no exception. I love that, for now at least, it is a sweet and innocent day for them. I cringe to think of middle school and high school when saying someone is “awesome” won’t seem like a big deal at all and Valentine’s Day means dinner dates and roses. (I shivered just typing that.)
I asked Sadie, our youngest, the other night who her Valentine was and she launched into a monologue, “My daddy. I’m gonna marry him when I get big, but you can still live with us. We’re not going to live in a castle cause I’m not a princess, but we might live in dis house. And I’m gonna have a pony. And my own room.”
“Hm. Well, your daddy is a good Valentine. You can count on him to let you sleep late on the weekend, but never leave him alone with three blondes and an unopened package of glitter,” I said as I wiped a few flecks off of her cheek and kissed her goodnight.
(Robin O’Bryant is an author, humorist and speaker. Her latest book is “Ketchup is a Vegetable and Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves.” Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter and visit her blog at www.robinschicks.com.)