I purposely didn’t look at the cute Valentine’s in the stores that kids buy to hand out to their classmates because my kids are out of elementary school now and it breaks my heart to see them because I miss that stage. But then I saw Facebook posts from other parents after the holiday about their experiences getting those Valentine’s ready, and I started to count my blessings! One Mom said her child forgot the master list with all of his classmates’ names on it, so she tried to help him piece it together from memory. She said, “Ok let’s start with who sits around you. What? You’ve been in that same classroom for 100 days this year and you don’t remember who sits by you? How about your friends? They’re not in your class? Ok who’s the loudest in your class? Who’s the quietest? You’re killing me here!” Another Mom said her son didn’t want to write all of the classmates’ names out on the Valentine’s, so in the “To:” field he just wrote “You” on each one! The Mom was so tired she told him that’s fine, good enough! For me, I remember quite a few kids didn’t write anything at all in the “To” field, they would just sign who it was from and hand that out. Brilliant! I didn’t realize that was an option, and neither did my boys or I’m sure they would’ve done that. I also remember that the boys took after me….if they wrote too fast they’re handwriting turned into hieroglyphics nobody could decipher. I’d have to tell them, “Look, I know what your name is and I still can’t read it. Take your time and make your letters look like letters.” We’d have to space out writing over days because once their hand got tired there was no telling what they’d write. One Mom wrote that she had to hand make a Valentine’s box and 10 Valentine’s for her baby to take to daycare. She said the other kids don’t even know they have hands but they’re getting a homemade Valentine. Another Mom said she bought stretchy toys to attach to the Valentine’s until she read that they caused a choking hazard, so late at night before they were due she ran to the store and bought donut holes in hopes that Pinterest would have a cute idea about what to do with them instead. But after surfing for an hour online she was sitting in her kitchen at 9pm with no ideas, eating donut holes. A teacher wrote, “Try being on the classroom end of 25 Valentine’s with lollipops and bouncy balls attached to them. That’s 25 kids stuck inside hopped up on pure sugar with balls flying around the room! Another Mom said she saluted another Mom in Walmart who was standing in the Valentine’s aisle in her housecoat, pj’s and slippers at 9pm after she just found out her son’s Valentine’s were due the next day! She told that Mom hang in there, this too shall pass. For me, there were countless times the kids told me they signed up for cupcakes due the next day, and they didn’t think to tell me until 7pm the night before. I always said to them from now on, when there’s a sign-up sheet for Valentine’s Parties or whatever holiday it is, you be the first to sign up so you can pick plates or napkins. Even drinks. Anything but cupcakes because how are you going to transport these on the bus and have them stay all in one piece after an hour bumpy bus ride? Once the other kids on the bus smell frosting it’s game over. You can’t fend them all off at once. And no, we do not have enough ingredients to make one for every kid on the bus either. But still, I miss it terrible. If you’re in the trenches, try to cherish it. I know it’s hard, but one day I promise you that you will miss it!