PictureThe Valentine's Extravaganza
When I was little, I loved Valentine’s Day best of all.  I’m not sure if it was because of the chocolate, the hearts or the bright colors.  I think it was a combination of all three.

I love bright colors, and I absolutely love mixed patterns.  If I could get away with it, I would wear hearts and stripes and polka dots in lots of bright colors.  I would be so beautiful in my wardrobe of many colors.

When I see a display in a store than includes many brightly colored, patterned items, I can’t pick just one.  For instance, I don’t own a Vera Bradley bag.  Now, most of the reason I don’t is because they are obscenely expensive.  However, if you told me I could pick out one for free, I wouldn’t be able to do it.  They are beautiful all together in the display in the Hallmark store.  When you remove one from the other patterns, it loses its magic.  The same is true of brightly colored dishes in the housewares department.  I don’t want to pick just one color!

Valentine’s Day decorations are kind of like the Vera Bradley display and the dishes.  There are mixed polka dots and hearts and stripes and colors.  I love purple and pink and red mixed.  They are beautiful together.

You can just imagine what the Goose’s closet looked like when she was little.  She had so many bright colors and cute patterns!  Best of all, I would mix the patterns.  I would buy striped pajamas and polka dot pajamas and let her wear the shirt of one pattern and the pants of another.  (Actually, I did that with the Beetle, too.  Maybe I shouldn’t tell him that.)  Then, the Goose started dressing herself, and the patterns really got mixed.  She purposely mismatched socks from the time she was two years old, much to my mother-in-law’s dismay.  (In fact, the Goose also purposely wore her shoes on the wrong feet for about a year.  We would take them off and fix them, and she would switch them back.  Talk about marching to the beat of her own drum…)

Back to Valentine’s Day.  The reason I’m talking about it now, a week after the big day, is because it was our homeschool group’s annual Valentine’s party today.  It was rained out last week, so love had to wait a week. 

When I was little, I loved the Valentine’s Day parties.  In fact, V-Day was THE highlight of my school year.  I loved the decorated, home-made boxes, and I loved the cute cards.  I really loved the candy.  (Some things never change.)

When I started homeschooling, the Valentine’s parties were the main things I worried about.  I’m not kidding.  I really, really wanted my kids to have their parties!  I didn’t care about the other school stuff they would be missing, but the parties were too cool to miss.  Then, I discovered a great homeschool group.

Now, not only do my kids have opportunities for “school” parties, they get to experience “school” parties to the max.  Instead of trading Valentines with 20 other kids in class, the Goose got to exchange Valentines with 100 other kids at the park.  Today, they lined the basketball court with their home made boxes.  Then, when the mother in charge said to go, they all began placing Valentine’s cards in everyone else’s box.  It was great, and the Goose came back with 100 Valentines from her closest friends and candy to go with it.  (Let’s discuss that whole, “homeschoolers aren’t well-socialized” thing, shall we?)

For her box this year, the Goose wanted to make a softball.  For weeks, she talked about making a softball.  Finally, when I had time to concentrate on it (2 days before the party), I asked what she had in mind.  She wanted to take a square box and cut the corners off to make a round box.  (Remind me to sign her up for a class on logic.)  After debating her for quite a while but not convincing her that it wouldn’t work, I made a trip to the local craft store and found an unpainted hat box.  The Goose gave it her own magical twist, and a softball was created.  It was very “Goose,” and it made the Valentine’s party extra special for me, I mean her.  

Judging by how the Beetle matured, I’m betting this was the last year for the Goose to want to stand on the basketball court and get Valentines.  All I know is, it was fun while it lasted.  I got to live vicariously through my kids for a few years, anyway.  Do you think anyone would notice if I made my own box and stood there with the kids next year?  I can’t help it.  I love Valentines.  I’ll add it to my list of illnesses.  -Al



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