14 February 2013

My Funny Valentine

The Doozer had a Valentine’s Day party at his preschool this week. This is what he gave to his classmates:

Yeah, we did that. Our major project this week. Apparently, like so many other things I’ve discovered, this is what we do now. Elaborate projects that require time, effort, mental agility, a cash expenditure, and several paper cuts (okay, so it was mostly the wife, but I was there for support), only for our kid to get all the credit and the glory.


I remember the days of store-bought valentines featuring whatever kid-centric icon was adored in pop culture at the time and maybe a handful of candy hearts. Not to get all back in my day about this sort of thing, but it’s a weird shift. Now it’s like a serious competition for parents to outdo each other, see who can rip off the best approximation of something you saw on Pinterest.

And for the kids, this is just normal. Pedestrian. I mean, of course we have elaborate, handmade, Star Wars-themed valentine cards—why wouldn’t we? I’m starting to think that this is a dangerous precedent, that we are just flat-out not preparing them for the world of hurt that is in store for them, the increasingly awful series of disappointments that will befall them as they continue to grow older.

Oh well. At least they got a couple of Pixy Stix out of the deal.

So let me just apologize, kid. For failing you. Again. Speaking of that, the other thing I noticed about this particular Valentine’s Day is how, now that our older son is 4, this is just another holiday, another day on the calendar, part of an elaborate, year-long routine in which we’re engaged. But then someone sent us a first Valentine’s Day card for Little Brother, and I realized, Oh, yeah, his first Valentine’s Day. And his first Christmas. His first everything.

But at the same time, we’ve been through it all before, so that it just seems like nothing terribly special now. Like everything’s an afterthought. Oh, right. It’s not just another thing. Which worries me. I think this new kid is kind of getting the shaft. But maybe this is just something that happens. Do all subsequent kids after that first one end up in this exact same situation?

No wonder we all grow up to resent our parents.

I mean, Happy Valentine’s Day, boys! Yay . . . 

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