Monday, February 23, 2009

Valentines Party

I remember one of the first parties I ever planned and hosted. I was in 4th grade and it was a Valentines Day party. It was the first year we were home schooled, and I was very saddened at the thought of missing out on the Valentine exchange.

Oh how I loved making my heart shaped mailbox, hanging it from my desk and watching it become fat with valentine notes from my friends. There was always the hope that you'd get a special valentine from your special Valentine. Although, if you were like me, you'd die before admitting you even wanted a special Valentine. I remember reading every valentine and reading into every valentine. It was clear when someone chose one just for you: "you make my heart race, Valentine". That couldn't be an accident, right? I know I chose my valentines VERY carefully. If I wanted someone to know how I felt about them, good, bad or indifferent, I'd have to choose just the right message.

I still have some of my favorite valentines. There is a Snoopy one from David McMillan. It is a big sticker and therefore stood out from a crowd of simple paper valentines. I have some handmade ones from kids I used to babysit. I have the ones my friends Heather and Shannon sent to me when we were lonely teenagers, wishing a boy would send us a Valentine instead of our girlfriends. Of course I have lots from my favorite Valentine.

I don't remember all the details of the party, but some stand out. I made heart shaped sugar cookies with red sprinkles for the guests to eat. I planned a craft. When the boys wanted to go outside and jump on a mattress we had in the backyard, I was frustrated they were not following my party agenda. (No we weren't hillbillies. I don't know why the mattress was out there.) Ironically, I don't remember the valentine exchange at all.
This year, when James mentioned giving out valentines to his friends, I realized I wanted the boys to have a chance to fill thier mailboxes with special notes. So I planned a party. Every kid brought a shoebox and some valentines. The shoebox was decorated and a mail slot cut in it, turning it into a mailbox. We then took the kids outside to exchange valentines. Of course, since none of the kids could read, it was rather chaotic as the mamas tried to tell each child whose valentine was whose and whose mailbox was whose and not to read them yet, keep passing them out and don't open that lollipop yet and no I can't read it this second, just look at the picture. It was fun.

After everyone had a box full of notes, the kids sat down to "read" their valentines. For the boys, this lasted several minutes. Then it was back to the toys, the running around and the crashing of cars. Boys often miss the deep meaning attached to valentine cards. The girls, however, carried their boxes around for the rest of the party. And, if they are anything like me, they are probably driving their moms crazy by wanting to hang onto those beautiful mailboxes, stuffed full of pieces of precious paper.

Obviously, I still love Valentines Day. Isn't it nice to have a chance to tell people that you normally might not tell that they, "
Arrrrgh the best Valentine!" (from a pirate valentine) It looks like I have passed on my love of party planning and Valentines Day to my boys, because they are already planning next year's bash. They both think we should put candy in our valentines. They also wanted to know what the next holiday is so we can plan that party too. Easter egg hunt anyone?


ben said...

girls are so wierd

Mommy of three said...

If you only knew the half of it.....

Shannon said...

I'm sorry, I HAVE to comment on this one! Ben, you did, in fact, give me a Valentine when I was 15. And you can't deny it, because I still have it in a box somewhere as proof. It was so sweet coming from you because for years all I ever heard you say was how weird and dumb girls were. (Seems some things never change! :) I had to wonder if Greta put you up to it. I think that was the year after Greta and I gave out pathetic "secret admirer" Valentines to boys who didn't deserve them. Ugghh, do you remember that, Greta? Some things I wish I could forget doing.

Mommy of three said...

Oh Shannon, I was dying reading your comments! So hilarious. Yes, I think I did suggest Ben make you a valentine. I thought you'd like one from a boy, even your best friend's younger brother. It was pretty amazing that he did it though. I forgot all about that. This coming from the boy who was part of the "we hate girls" club in elementary school.
And thanks for outing me on the secret admirer valentines. I still feel embarrassed when I think about it. What were we thinking? Didn't we paint them in art class? Mine was probably so ugly. No wonder I got no response. Or maybe he just didn't like me..... Perhaps these memories will make us more understanding when our daughters do something stupid at 15.
Thanks for the laugh. It totally made my afternoon.

Erin McDonald said...

I just have to say that Ben I am very impressed that you even read a girl's blog! A mom's blog at that! I have to ask are you adicted to it like the rest of us are? I hope so! As for the party... I loved the idea! So much fun and I agree that homeschoolers get jiped on that day if they don't have cool moms like yourself! I was so excited when I got to high school and implemented the Valintine mailbox on our desk thing! great fun even if you don't have a spiecial person in mind! So this is also a great time to say I love you Greta! I love that through this crazy internet thing we have rekindled our friendship and bonded beyond what i thought was possible via a computer! thank you again for keeping me in the loop!

ben said...

Yes Erin I am addicted to the blog I got to keep up with my boys! and Lilly. Shannon I can't believe that I gave you a Valentines card! Yeah I hated girls till I was about 12 then things changed for some reason. I had a crush on you along with Heather so Greta probably didn't have to push me to hard to give you a Valentines card. That's the way it's suppose to be right, younger brother has crush on older sister's friends.

Heather said...

Ok, now my turn to jump in! ;) (Greta told me about this conversation going on and since I FINALLY have internet here I thought I'd see what's going on) I am totally cracking up! HA! I remember Ben and Sean and their "Club"! Those were the days! I'm honored (and shocked) Ben, that Shannon and I were your crushes! AHhh! Greta and Shannon, I have vivid memories of our lonely Valentine's Days! Man I miss you guys