Happy Hearts Day

So this year I made custom photo Valentines for my kiddos. It was kind of a surprise — I told the boys they were coming, but they didn’t see them until they arrived. My younger son Jackson was thrilled. I even got an “Awesome!!,” which in case you’re not aware, is one of the highest compliments one can be paid by a six-year-old boy.

I thought they were stinkin’ adorable, and I regret not thinking of the idea sooner and making them for my clients. Next year, I’ll definitely design some special ones in January just for all the little sweethearts I work with.

The ones for my daughter, Juniper, were a big hit at daycare. I even mirrored the heart on her shirt with the heart on the Valentine. See how I did that? Again, stinkin’ adorable.

But the ones for my older son, Eli… let’s just say they won’t be seeing the light of day.

For background, he’s nine and in fourth grade. When I showed them to him, he just said, “Umm… yeah.” Then paused for a long while, and added, “Umm… yeah.” Finally he collected his thoughts and said, “Mama, I’m really not trying to hurt your feelings, but I’m not going to be able to bring those to school.”

Apparently there is some sort of seismic shift between third and fourth grade. He grew up, in terms of Valentine’s Day, and I hadn’t even noticed. In fourth grade, not even all the kids bring Valentines to school, I was informed. If they do, they certainly aren’t homemade, I learned. And there’s absolutely no way he could bring Valentines with a smiling photo and a HEART. “I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings, Mama,” he said again. “I just can’t do it.”

My feelings weren’t hurt at all. In fact, I was touched by how delicately he phrased his rejection. He really is a sweetheart, even if he won’t let me share that with his class.

On a related note, I love to give vintage Valentines to my kids. The messages are so sweet, and they often have penciled-in notes from the Mildreds and Edwins of the 1920’s as a snazzy little bonus. I bought my kids’ Valentines at Oak Street Antiques — head down there if you need some last-minute cards. Happy Valentine’s Day!