The Love

Ax made 18 valentines last night. The first four he made with his grandma and they are large and have glued-on lace doilies and cotton balls and shiny stickers and are rather impressive. The last fourteen he made with me and they are quarter page-sized with my handwriting for the classmate’s name and simple drawings by Ax.

He would have spent an hour on each card, but that would have resulted in an all-nighter which I feel is unnecessary to start so early in his academic career.

I know he will receive some more elaborate valentines than he is giving. Though I will say each of his cards is infused with love and care.

I’d tell him the name of the person, “Jeremiah,” and Ax would rattle off something specific about them and draw a picture to that effect. “Jeremiah loves rockets so I will draw him a rocket.”

“Lilly.” “Lilly loves unicorns and purple so I will draw her a purple unicorn.”

“Pomegranate.” “Pomegranate loves butterflies.”

“Will.” “Will loves to run so I will draw someone running all around.”

And on it went, like that, for fourteen friends who have already been through so much together though they are only five or six years old. Our boy Ax giving each classmate thoughtful, personal attention. Drawing each friend’s icon with care and love.

I hope his friends and their parents will appreciate his cards. I know for a fact that On It Mom has had some Pinterest-inspired valentine card-making activities happening for weeks.

She showed me a picture and let me tell you those are gonna be some snazzy valentines, unicorn theme with special order twisty rainbow lollipops affixed for the unicorn horn. Ax loves lollipops.

And so here it is again. Is it good enough? Am I good enough? Will people understand my good intentions or just the lack of fancy candy?

Could I have, should I have, done better or different? Can I be happy with the valentines we’re giving and getting without making this too a referendum on everything? Comparison is the thief of joy.

Ax is proud of his valentines, if he feels anything about them at all. And he’ll enjoy getting whatever he gets. He doesn’t seem to do a ton of comparing and he has a lot of joy, like his daddy.

I can learn from these guys. I’m learning. I’m gonna keep going.