The lesser kid holidays are always the best: painting our Halloween faces, dyeing Easter eggs,
toasting with Jameson minis for St. Pat’s. And on V-Day, it’s always something fun to wear, a toy, and something the Sugar Nazi in me is certain, certain will be the gateway treat to dental retardation. (This year, a candy necklace. I had ’em as a kid, and they were fun as hell. Michael says he never had one, probably because “necklaces are for girls,” until I informed him that Walgreens carried not only the Barbie candy necklace but also an extra-masculine Scooby Doo candy necklace, which was the same goddamn necklace but in Scooby packaging so you didn’t have to reassess a lifetime of deeply cultivated values over your candy-necklace-wearing son.)
We also spent a few days making Valentine Mailboxes: household boxes that we wrapped and colored and stamped and put stickers on, and a mail slot for cards from classmates. This is deeply relaxing, quietly crafting pretty little boxes with your smallest friends with bows and ribbons and puffy heart and butterfly stickers. I’m gonna guess this is like Oxy, without the preceding pain or the consequent addiction, doctor shopping and pharmacy hold-up, you could do it for days on end, it is just THAT CHILL.
It was a half-day at school today, and everything before that an academic wash, a twittering sea of red and pink already jagged on Necco hearts by the time I arrived for party assistance. The kindergarten class was hilarious mayhem: 25 five-year-olds all trying to distribute their cards to each other at once, mini-cupcakes and cookies, one tragic little boy who’d forgotten his cards and mailbox at home. (I stayed until day’s end, helped the children quickly but carefully pack their things: the cards they’d made for their families, their candy hearts, their mailboxes — nary an item to be bent nor lost, knowing how devastated they’d be to get home and discover otherwise, the terrible preciousness of such small things.)
I hope your day was sweet, and funny, less Hallmark than heartfelt.