On the eve of school Valentine's Day parties everywhere, both my daughters informed me that they needed Valentine boxes the next day. I smiled. I was cursing under my breath, though.
Being a responsible parent, I knew this was coming. Every year there are Valentine's Day parties. I know this. I know they will need a shoe box, covered in red paper and doily hearts with a slot in the top for Hannah Montana and Scooby Doo cards. But I'd forgotten. And now I was tired, it was late, and I did not want to spend the evening making Valentine's Day boxes.
I remember making my own boxes in Elementary school. My mother (a saint) had sat at the table with me for hours, cutting hearts, glueing paper, and sprinkling glitter. Hadn't she? Unlike me, she'd never cursed under her breath. No, she brought out the construction paper and old cards and stickers and smiled. She'd been patient. And loving. At least, I remember her being patient and loving. And smiling.
I thought about it, though, as I measured fabric and cut it and had my girls glue it on their boxes. As I showed my daughters how to fold a piece of paper, cut, and open it to reveal a perfectly shaped heart, I realized that I have no idea if my mother had actually enjoyed making Valentine's boxes with me. I only know that every year, she did.
And suddenly, I was very happy to be making boxes with my smiling, loving, girls. It's just that next year, let's start earlier.