So here we are less than a week away from February 14 and it just occurred to me that I never ordered the Valentine photo cards. You know, the ones that are in lieu of sending Christmas cards because it's so hectic and rushed and overstimulated. I went with Valentine's Day because February is almost two months after when I would be stressing about those Yuletide greetings. That would give me plenty of time to get through the holidays AND our three birthdays in January. Except somehow I ended up with a February that's still hectic, rushed and overstimulated.
Couple that with the now familiar maternal humiliation of sending La Principessa to her classroom with boxed Disney valentines that Daddy-O scored from Target last March. Not even Disney Princesses or Mickey and Minnie in this pack. No this is a random assortment of Goofy, Pluto and Pete, the grouchy guy. I'm flashing back to unpleasant memories of sorting through Teen Spirit's Valentine shoe box and feeling shamed at my meager efforts. Pencils spearing heavy card stock, hearts festooned with sequins and feathers. Elaborately folded foam paper ornaments with a candy surprise inside. Each year I'd convince myself that it was no big deal -- as long as he participated with a card, it was all in good childhood fun. I didn't need to engage in Valentine-making as a competitive sport. Except every year I'd glare with envy at the ever more creative offerings he received.
The ante has been upped with La Principessa, the girliest of girlie girls. So it would seem Cupid's arrow --- and all of my maternal neuroses --- are pointing towards lovingly handmade valentines for family and friends. I'll come clean -- I'm still swept up in the spirit of kiddie bento box fever and now I want to give the same fetishistic slicing/dicing/artfully arranging treatment to poor innocent paper. I'll decoratively cut, photoshop, glue, modpodge, paint and embroider those cards into submission. I have dreams of origami swans offering up an edible golddust-flecked homemade salted caramel. Yes, my dreams are scary places.
I will snap out of that delusion. But still, it's not even Friday yet, so my standards are still fairly high. I'm beginning by looking for examples of something elegant. Ahh. 3-D paper sculptures that pop-out when the card is opened. Can you even make those by hand? Yeah, those little cardinals perched on a wire, spring up, tilt and kiss beaks when you open the card. Adorable -- unfortunately I'm a little time-pressed and I don't have time to complete that engineering degree from MIT to figure out how to rig the whole thing up.
Clearly, this is a process. But I've got an entire weekend and a very game little girl who wants in. I'll be posting over the next few days to let you know how it goes. Any favorite suggestions for homemade valentine cards and treats?