M was so excited this morning about her upcoming school Valentine's Day party that she was about to burst. Unlike many of her friend's preschools, hers puts on a full candy and cupcake extravaganza. I succumbed to the reality that we weren't going to make Valentines for everyone in her school (though we did make them for the teachers) and let her pick out a box of glittery foil Disney Princess cards. I was very excited that she wanted to write her own name on each of them and she loved helping pick out a message heart lollipop for each one. Despite my reservations about giving each child yet another piece of candy, I wasn't going to be caught unaware like I was last year when I was one of only two moms who hadn't realized that Valentine's Day was like Halloween the sequel.
Watching her excitement as Valentine's neared, I started thinking about my own school Valentine's experience and how Valentine's Day has never gotten any better than a handmade folder filled with silly cards and treats. After some vicious fights over the proper way to celebrate Valentine's Day in the early years of our relationship, my husband and I have settled into a comfortable pattern of romantic dinners at as nice a restaurant as we can afford at the time. I enjoy the evenings out, even more now that we're parents, but compared with my daughter's level of excitement, the holiday might as well have passed completely unobserved by me. Now I'm looking forward to picking up M, looking at all her cards and sharing her treats. Yes, she actually we share with me, at least when treats come in abundance.