Happy Valentine’s Day. It usually feels weird to say that to people with whom you are not in love. I mean, I love you, but I’m not IN LOVE with you. On Friday, I had a couple of students give me flowers and chocolates and one gave me a hug. I’m always uncomfortable with but flattered by such displays of affection from my “clients.” I’d rather talk about prepositions. Who wouldn’t?
This morning, I am delighted to have the day off. And I mean a real day off. Not an “oh my God, how bad is the substitute going to mess up my shit?” day off. I don’t have to work today. These two three-day weekends in a row are the reason Odie and I chose the dead of winter for our wedding. We had a weekend wedding, a whole seven-day honeymoon, but only missed 5 days of work. Every year, around the time of our anniversary, we get some extra long weekends to help us celebrate. Plus, we never have to celebrate Valentine’s Day because we celebrate our anniversary instead.
Sadly, this year, he had Friday off while I have Monday off. We each get one day alone though, and I think we both need it. I know I need it. Even as I sit here typing, I keep glancing at the video baby monitor out of habit. I think I’ll need another hour or so to believe that I can really just relax.
I dropped V off at preschool this morning a bit later than usual. She had a rough night of tossing and turning, so I let her sleep beyond her 6:00 wake-up time. Even though Odie had to go to work today, it’s a light duty day for him too, not having to get V dressed and fed while I shower and get ready. Extra nice for me not having to listen to “I don’t want it!” “But you asked for it!”
“I don’t want it!”
“If you don’t want it, then why did you ASK FOR IT?!” all through my shower. When I signed her in at school and put her lunch box in the fridge, I noticed the neat stacks of Valentine’s Day cards. Some of the other children’s mothers took some time this weekend to prepare little cards for the other kids in the class.
Aww, isn’t that just… RIDICULOUS?!
My first reaction is one of guilt and inadequacy. I am not that kind of mom. I don’t bake cookies, sew, or make handmade Valentine’s Day cards. I don’t even buy the ready-made ones. I don’t have a stash of glitter, construction paper, and paint pens for these occasions. I used a hot glue gun once. I was a bridesmaid three months after V’s birth, and I was asked to help assemble bouquets. This involved taking a bunch of flowers, wrapping them in ribbon, and hot gluing the ribbon closed, ideally without leaving a big, obvious dripping blob of glue visible. How did I do? They don’t call it a “hot” “glue” gun for nothing. That shit is scalding and sticky. I’m glad there were more skilled disciples of Martha Stewart than I to assist the bride with these tasks. I’m also glad there were ice buckets nearby to chill the champagne and numb my second degree burns.
I don’t get excited around holidays as some do because of the crafty possibilities they bring. Unless it’s a work holiday, there’s nothing to be excited about, as far as I’m concerned. All my life I’ve felt less-than the women who throw together themed cocktail parties and hand-address nifty little cards. Now that I’m approaching 40, I think it’s time to just accept that I’m not one of them. Will the other moms at preschool point me out to each other and whisper, “There’s the one who didn’t make any cards for Valentine’s Day”? Probably not. When V is older, if she wants to hand out valentines to her classmates, I will do everything I can to assist. But she isn’t even two yet. The only real reason to hand out Valentine’s Day cards when your child is under two is to impress the other mommies with how crafty and together you are. Congratulations, other mommies. I am suitably impressed by your crafty togetherness. You win this month’s Kelle Hampton Award for Making Useless Shit to Clutter up Other People’s Houses. The landfill will be that much prettier.
So, on to my day off. I see a bubble bath, some trashy TV, and leftover birthday cake from Grandma’s celebration in my future. To all of you marrieds and coupled readers, I wish you a day full of remembering why you love the one you’re with. To my single friends, I wish you a day full of not having douchebags make you feel like there’s anything wrong with being single. And I’ll race you to the grocery store for half-priced chocolate tomorrow, which we can agree is the very best part of Valentine’s Day, after all.