Two Bigger Now…Now, Too Big

When swimsuits and plastic pools line Target’s shelves while snow is still melting on the ground, I scarcely notice.

When pre-lit Christmas trees and inflatable reindeer debut in Walmart weeks before Halloween, I stay silent amidst the condemning Facebook fray. (Truth told I have to squelch a smile. If you’re curious who’s hitting the button that makes the mechanical Santa sing ad nauseam, it’s me.)

Typically, premature holiday celebration pleases me…a lot.

But this year—this year—is different.

On a last minute, Scotch tape-seeking mission to the Dollar Tree this past Christmas Eve, I saw them: Valentines for the 2014 season.

Valentines2014
Disney Princesses. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. My Little Pony. SpongeBob SquarePants. Seasonal pencils. Colorful, themed erasers. Conversation hearts.

This year—this year—my not-so-paper heart is breaking just a little bit.

Middle school marks maturation.

No decorating shoeboxes. No magic-markered paper bags tacked to the in-class bulletin board. No tiny envelopes way too small to mail.

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No deliberation over which card is the perfect card for each special friend. No asking the teacher for the most-up-to-date list of all classmates in order to dodge the horror of hurt feelings.

MLP
No cupcakes. No cookies. No candy. No night-before-the-class-party teacher-emailed requests to please bring baby carrots in order to “balance” the predictable proliferation of sugar.

None of it. We’re 12. We’re done—at least in the way to which I had grown accustomed—and until now never quite realized, extraordinarily fond.

This year, for the first time, each of our tween twins is contemplating sending a single sentimental greeting to his/her own select recipient…with no holiday motif pencil threaded through the card or temporary tattoo enclosed. Viva l’amour adolescent.

This year, for the twelfth time, I’m hanging their home-based, heart-bedecked bags from the hooks their holiday stockings just vacated. Call me Tevye.

Valentines
As our sweethearts continue to grow, our celebrations will continue to evolve*…but for now, this Mama Cupid isn’t quite ready to stop stoking their Valentine sacks with wee little cards and dentist-daunting quantities of candy.

(*And yes, it’s beyond safe to assume leprechauns will be peeing green in our toilets next month….)