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Valentine's Day duty

Valentine's Day crept up on me again, so at 8 last night, we raced to the drugstore to get valentines for the 4th and 6th grade classes. This year Kung-Fu Panda and Cartoon Network were selected.

I remember a couple of years ago sitting at the table as our younger two painstakingly wrote out a valentine for each classmate. A project that, while quaint, seemed to take hours. Then kids would come home with their decorated boxes and most valentines they received had a value-added candy, pencil, or over-engineered goody bag carefully affixed to the valentine; ours did not - yet more reinforcement of slacker momness.

Last night our kids worked on their own. No parental intervention. When they went to bed, I peeked in their bags to see what they had done. Our son had assembled his valentines in individual Ziploc bags with candy necklaces (a great childhood novelty that shouldn't just be for kids. (I want to wear one! Does that lead down a slippery slope to a red hat and purple dress?).

He also put together a tray of cookies adorned with drink umbrellas found when we cleaned the house last weekend. The teacher will think this was my touch, and wonder about my mental state. Oh well. Our daughter baked her own cupcakes and did a better job decorating than I would have.

So it was bittersweet, a sign of further independence; we're not needed for valentines anymore,except maybe to clean up the mess that was left when they sneaked upstairs at 10:30.

---Allison

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