Valentine’s Day Morning – 2016
Begrudgingly one eye opens and sees the clock. My heart jumps awake, even though I technically don’t have to be awake for another ½ hour. But today is special. I have to hang the hearts I made last night on each of my sons’ bedroom doors! I was up late cutting them out and writing special personal messages for each of them – ‘You’re so smart’, ‘I love your curls’, ‘You tell the best jokes!’ – that I practically fell asleep with a pair of scissors clutched (responsibly – blades in) in one hand and a Sharpee – Cap on, whew! – in the other.
I race (quietly) to the bathroom and over to the dresser to collect my Valentine’s art project for my three little labors of love, now 8, 10 and 13. Ten personalized hearts times three. Now if I can only find the tape. I lift my construction paper. Not there. I check under a pile of clothes. Not there. I know it’s around here somewhere. I remember bringing it up. It would help to turn on the light but my husband still sleeps. Maybe it’s over by the- F%$!!! Found it, on the floor, under my foot.
My muffled exclamation of pain causes my husband to stir. He took off from work and was sleeping in. “What are you doing?” he asks.
Nothing, I assure him. Go back to sleep. He doesn’t need to be told twice and turns over muttering sweet nothings to me which might sound a lot like “You’re crazy” but with my Valentine’s ears I interpret to mean, ‘I’m crazy for you.’
After a quick pit stop back to the bathroom for band aids to tourniquet my gushing foot, I soft peddle it each of my kids’ doors and lovingly hang their hearts so that they can appreciate them and all the wonderful qualities of themselves when they wake up. I also leave a trail of chocolate kisses from their bedrooms, down the stairs, leading to the kitchen. Eeeeee! They are going to love it!
In the kitchen whipping up pancakes, frying turkey bacon and scrambling eggs. I have cut toast into hearts with a cookie cutter. On each boy’s chair sits a small bug-eyed stuffed creature and box of chocolates. My husband’s chair has man-size box and a card. I am a Valentine’s domestic goddess. I keep whipping and waiting for my family to run down the stairs and smother me with love.
I hear rustling upstairs. Oh! My boys have clearly been awakened by the fresh smell of pancakes and bacon wafting up the stairs. I sneak toward the steps. Is that giggling I hear? Wait. It could be shouting. Yup. Shouting. F&%!
“Boys!” I yell in my sweetest voice and stomp up. “What’s going on?”
The scene is straight out of Psycho Willy Wonka. 8 year-old son is smeared with chocolate, a mass of Kisses clutched in his hands. 10 year-old boy is yelling at him and trying to grab the Kisses while 13 year old boy is quietly off to the side laughing popping chocolates in his mouth.
The floor shimmers with crinkly silver and purple foil.
“Boys!” I repeat and finally they notice me. They can’t control themselves and begin talking all at once. The outpouring of love is overshadowed by a lot of annoying complaining and petty bullshit.
“Did you guys notice your doors?” I ask. They should. I’ve done it for the last few years or so. Their doors are almost completely covered with love. Shamed, they look over and read. Or at least two of them do. My youngest is too busy crying and hiding. My middle son still feisty from the chocolate wars wants to argue over heart number 7 and insists that, no, in fact he is not smart.
“Thanks mom,” my oldest says, and my face slowly opens with happiness until I realize that’s all he has to say. He walks past me down the steps. But wait, he stops mid-way. Could there be something more? A card? A hug? My heart flutters…
“Do you know where my phone is?”
Yup, exactly what I thought.
I spend the next five minutes trying to coerce my embarrassed, pissed off youngest to come out of hiding and find myself with snot and chocolate all over my hands and pajama shirt. Sighing I give up and head downstairs to find my older boys securely positioned in front of the television, iPads in hand.
“Guys, I made a good Valentine’s day breakfast.”
“Not now,” says my oldest.
“I’m not hungry,” says my middle.
“I am!” squeaks my youngest but when I trot him inside, he looks at the spread and immediately announces, “I want cereal.”
I trudge my fuming, snot covered, bloody foot self back to my room and kick my still snoring husband out of bed. I’m done with this holiday. Wake me up on Mother’s Day.
Valentine’s morning – 2017
You would think I would learn, but like a pup, tail wagging and waiting for that bone, I cover the floor with chocolate kisses, again write personalized hearts, and go down to make a ‘special’ breakfast. I don’t know why I am surprised when one boy complains that the Kisses I left on the floor leading from their bedrooms downstairs are annoying, while another one says the card I wrote has too many words to read. There is a fight about who did or didn’t flush the toilet and no one but my husband is interested in the special breakfast I made.
I steam with my coffee a bit until I remember that last year the day actually ended up pretty awesome. I wound up getting my own original song, written and performed by my own personal ‘homemade’ boy band. It was the best present ever! (To see the video go to my Facebook page).
And that’s when lightening struck twice. My youngest runs in and hands me dead flowers that he has hidden in the closet to save as a special gift, and my oldest made me a really thoughtful card, while my middle guy brings me special socks to keep my always cold feet snuggly warm. There are also stuffed animals and goodies to go with the hugs! Clearly, the day is looking up! And of course, as long as we’re together annoying each other, it’s all good.
Love and happiness to you all. xoxo