I used to stay up late to do work. Or to hang out with friends. Tonight I stayed up late baking heart shaped cookies, after H asked if I had made a valentine for the whole family, with that sideays raised eyebrow look that says "I made a valentines for the whole family. Just sayin." This morning as we were going to school, H sighed and said "Mom. Its valentines day tomorrow and we haven't even decorated." When did Valentines day become a major holiday? I was shamed enough to go out to the dollar store to try and find some kind of valentine decor- but they were all sold out. Just an empty aisle where the hearts used to be. Don't worry, I did find glitter hearts at CVS for cheap, on clearance the day before valentines day, as everyone else in this part of town has already been decorated for a few weeks.
Where I live, you must decorate. People go all out for the usual Christmas and Halloween stuff, but Valentines day, Easter, and Saint Patricks day too. You must also decorate in the interum between Halloween and Christmas- unscary fall decor. (I draw the line at Saint Patricks day. I don't do Easter either. Or at least I haven't yet.) H is probably right that I was violating some local code by not having my glitter hearts up in a timely fashion. But, they're up, sparkling away. Maybe you'll get me next time, grim reaper of porch decor.
I took H to school, valentines day party, all the other kids were dressed in all red. She told me a few days ago that she couldn't wait until the valentines day party because she was going to wear all red and pink- but what she wore today was red pants with tulips on them, a long sleeved purple shirt with a black short sleeved shirt that had a rhinestone heart on it on top. And an orange sock and a turquoise sock. She seems to not feel the need to follow the crowd, which makes me want to cry tears of joy, but every now and then I wonder. She will never hear from my mouth "... everyone else is.." but every so often I wonder if I'm the problem here. Yesterday at gym class the teacher looked at H and said "what did you have today?... crazy day?" and then caught herself as soon as she said it. "No", I said , "she just dresses that way." She's been in this class for 2 years now? But in the gym teachers defense, she did have a lot of different patterns going on. Many of the moms jumped to my/her defense though- assuring me that they thought "she always looks cute." I really did appreciate hearing that.
H got her first real valentine today from a friend of hers at school. And gym class. If my camera worked I would post a picture- some how "H, I love you. Love, Matt D" in four year old scrawl brings tears to my eyes every time I read it. Which is not all that often. I am not some wacko reading and re-reading my four year olds valentines.
I want her to love who she is, to have the confidence to express herself. It is sometimes hard to live by example of that. I wonder where it will go. Will she one day rebel and only wear beige?