Hearts, Flowers and Shooting Daggers Out of my Eyes


I am but one of the many voices joined in chorus each year at this time to bitch about this day. It is a manufactured holiday. It is a corporate scam created to get us to spend more money. It is a vast canyon of hurt for those who are alone or nursing a broken heart. Whatever it is, I’m sure you’ve heard it.

But I hate this holiday for a different reason. I hate it because it is the yearly battle called “You Will Sit in This Chair and Write Your Name 25 Times or You Will Hear About It, Mister!”

Each year, I start with the best of intentions. I remember the year before when so many kids created an adorable card or little craft and I want, want, want to do the same. I have visions of bringing my sons to the table and creating a sweet little something for each kid in the class. I want to sit and chat with them while we make something cute together. Doesn’t that sound lovely?

The problem is that my two crazy boys both hate anything involving paper, scissor, crayons, markers, glue (unless my younger son is gluing his feet to my living room floor), glitter, yarn, letters or numbers. As you can imagine, this makes creating Valentine’s Day cards difficult.

I wish I could just shoot each parent an email and they could show the screen to their kids when they get home. Hell, I’d rather hire a skywriter to say, “What Up Cricket Class! From, Nate.” I swear that would be easier than the near screaming match that took place in our house last night.

It started out well enough. I gave up the idea of making our own Valentines. Instead, I tried to buy ones that I thought they would like in hopes of enticing them to sit their cans down and work on them.

I do have one tiny victory. We made a craft this year! We melted crayons into hearts and are giving those out with our cards. My husband was amazed! The boys didn’t argue and even wanted to help. I think it’s because it involved ripping off crayon wrappers and melting things. Whatever, I’ll take it.

But the actual writing of the names and stuffing of the envelopes was an ordeal just like it is each year. There were threats. There was stomping. Faces were red. There was a lot of harrumphing & yelling of the word “FINE!” in the cruel way that only Midwestern people have truly mastered.

When we were done, we all crawled into our beds. Spent. Exhausted.

And so, I say to any other mothers who have a similar experience…

“What Up Mamas! From, Steph.” That’s the best you’re going to get out of me.

3 thoughts on “Hearts, Flowers and Shooting Daggers Out of my Eyes

  1. Hello wonderful Mama blogger! I started reading your blog a month ago (?) and so enjoy it. I had sent you a message letting you know I enjoy your style of writing. I also have 2 sons, ages 24 and 27 – love ’em to death! – and told you to enjoy allllll your time with them. It does go by fast!

    Friday night my simple world was shot to pieces. But first, my sons and I are alright. But my older son, 27, who was on his way home from work (very responsible), and he was a block from his apartment when a total creep came up behind him, held a gun to his head and said ‘give me everything you have or I will blow your brains out.’ OMG!! (And I always type ‘OMGosh’ because I think it is more polite!)

    Fast forward, the police were called, canine unit and all, and one of the two in-their-twenties guys was arrested (the one with the gun – thank God! )yesterday evening and is IN JAIL!!! This has happened to multiple people over in the West Seattle area, and the SPD was determined to get them. I salute them and all their wonderful work!

    I have been so on my own case, because unfortunately when my sons were young (3,4,5,6,7 years old) I would not let them play with toy guns, And years later, I feel tremendous guilt for not having prepared my sons for the real world, because my older son had his life threatened by a thug.

    So there must be a happy medium here, where we can love our sons so much, yet prepare them for the real world, at the same time pointing out the sunsets and beautiful lakes in the Seattle area (I did that too! :D), and also let them know there are ‘bad guys’ out there too.

    If you can think of any words of wisdom for a 58 year old mom of two sons, I would so appreciate it.

    And always, always, treasure each day you have with your sons. You are truly blessed!



    • Oh thank you for your reply! Now that I am not so much in shock, I totally agree with what you wrote. My son is recovering, although I am still urging him to go thru the counseling that SPD offers – which is phenomenal for victims of crime – but my son has not done that yet, but I’ll keep bugging him about that.

      Oddly enough, (I am not a gun owner) in the next few months I am going with my dearest friend to learn how to shoot a gun. at a shooting range. We both have two sons each (in their 20s, – good young men!), and we agreed we need to learn how to at least know how to handle a gun. Wish us luck!

  2. Hi Marian, First – I thank you for your kind notes. I did read them & thought I had responded to at least one. I am still learning this technology, though, and it may not have gone through or something? In any case – I really do read what you had written & appreciate all you say.

    Now — more important — I am so, so sorry to hear about what happened to your son! How terrifying that must have been. I am very happy to hear that he’s ok but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t incredibly scary and traumatic. I know that you must be very scared & worried too.

    I don’t know what I have to offer except a voice saying that you couldn’t have prevented this. He couldn’t have prevented this and you couldn’t have prevented it. Truly. I hope it helps to hear that.

    I, too, struggle with how to straddle the lines of real world and kindness. I guess we just have to know that we’re doing the right thing if our kid is on the kind side. Would you have rather raised the one who held him up? Can you even begin to imagine how much you’d be beating yourself up then? That can’t be a choice. We have to raise them with kind hearts – especially our boys.

    I don’t know if I’m right or if you’re right but at least we’re not alone.

    Take care.

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Living the writer's life in Seattle

Running After Ale

I'm constantly running after my toddler Ale (Á-le). I'm out of breath and having the best time!

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