Somewhere in the great continuum of life, my children evolved from toddlers to teens—seemingly overnight. And although I don’t miss the blur of early parenthood, projectile vomiting or the abundance of pointy, plastic dinosaurs I trod upon in the dead of night, I do miss delicious experiences like shopping for valentines with my brood. Stop laughing.
Never mind that it was a painstaking process, watching them pace back and forth in store aisles attempting to choose the ultimate design from the hoards that were available. Even more painstaking was the process of helping them fill out dozens for classmates and beloved teachers, since the children in question had yet to master the art of writing their own names. But that was part of the fun—witnessing their determined efforts and the care with which they tackled the task year after year. In the end, it was always worth it.
So it’s sort of sad that the celebrated valentines-exchange-gig is over for my kids. Sadder still is the fact that mass marketers never seemed to have capitalized on consumers like parents—an enormous segment of the population that could potentially benefit from trading sentiments related to being in the trenches together. Just for fun, I came up with a handful of ludicrous valentines that moms and dads might find fitting for the occasion.
1) You look ravishing, Valentine…especially when you find time to shower and brush your teeth after a harrowing day with the kids.
2) Can’t wait to be alone with you, Babe…right after we read forty-seven bedtime stories and wipe the pasta off the dining room walls.
3) You had me at “I’ll go to the parent/teacher conference this time. You just make yourself comfy on the couch, have a big glass of wine and read a great book.”
4) There’s nothing that says LOVE like offering to fold our brood’s laundry (the right way) and find all their missing socks.
5) You’re never sexier than when you’re unplugging the kids’ toilet or helping them with their godawful homework.
6) Be mine, Valentine! The kids are at a SLEEPOVER!
7) I’ll be yours always and forever…if you promise to let me nap on the beach while you keep our youngest from drowning and/or pooping in the sand.
8) You’re my soul mate and I can’t imagine life without you as we tackle sleep deprivation, sibling rivalry and teen angst together.
9) You take my breath away, my love—even when I’m NOT yelling at the kids.
10) I’ll love you till the end of time, Valentine, or until our children stop asking unanswerable questions.
11) Nothing sounds more romantic than you, me and grocery shopping WITHOUT the kids.
12) Dance with me, tiny dancer—even though the floor is littered with potato chips and naked Barbie dolls.
13) Kiss me, you fool—never mind that our children are conducting a science experiment in the kitchen—possibly with flour, glitter and glue.
14) I’ll love you to the moon and back…if you’ll plan the kids’ birthday parties and the next six vacations.
15) You complete me, my dear, but never more than when you’re taxiing the kids all over the damn place.
16) Oh, how I adore thee, my hero…especially when you traipse around the house in your underwear because I heard a strange noise at three a.m.
17) Valentine, you make my heart race, even more than when our children play in traffic or ride their scooters through the house.
18) Love means never having to explain why you let the kids eat ice cream for dinner.
19) I’m hopelessly devoted to you—just like I’m devoted to posting stuff on social media that may or may not make our teens cringe.
20) My love for you is unconditional, much like my love for the pieces of bacon our kids discard.
Planet Mom: It’s where I live, with my special Valentine.
Copyright 2016 Melinda L. Wentzel