Last night, at dinner, my boys mentioned that they had to get their valentines done for all of their classmates. I knew it was February...and so I suppose I should have been prepared. But, since to me it felt much closer to February 1st, than February 14th, I was not.
And, truth be told, I am not a huge fan of valentines. I do not like the store bought valentines. Typically they have some awful-looking licensed character with a ridiculous saying like, "You're an Awesome Dude, Valentine!" or "Hang Ten, Valentine!" So, I didn't want to run out to the store and buy those silly cards. And, I was SO not interested in creating an over-the-top Pinterest-post-worthy valentine. Furthermore, we had plans to have a family game night and making valentines, was not on the agenda.
So, I was annoyed!
But, I knew that if we didn't start them soon, it would end up as a last minute whiny-cranky-kids-no-fun-project.
So I swallowed my annoyance and grabbed some supplies and made a plan for their valentines. We cut hearts, and punched circles, and glued down the pieces-and-part and stamped "Happy Valentine's Day" on paper. As the three of us sat on our family room floor surrounded by paper, scissors, glue sticks, hole punches and stamps, I took a moment to simply notice.
I noticed that Alex (my 8 year old) was very methodical and efficient. He took pride in cutting out multiple hearts at once, and then carefully placed them in a neat pile. Alex's area was set up like an assembly line, while Owen (my almost 7 year old) was much more free. His area was messy - with hearts and scraps laying all around him with no rhyme or reason and no system in place.
I noticed that all of Alex's hearts were the same size and purposely cut out of very similar paper. Owen's, on the other hand, were incredibly random - some hearts were big, fat and wide, while others were skinny, puny and small in all different colors and patterns.
I noticed that Alex wanted to do his all by himself and rejected my suggestions or offers to help. Whereas, Owen wanted my involvement. He often asked me questions, and wanted my assistance.
And, I noticed their smiles - Alex's tended to be subtle, small and toothless, while Owen's grin was huge, toothy and involved his entire face.
These differences (and their smiles) made me smile!
Both boys were having fun...in their own way and with their own style.
And, I was reminded of the specialness and uniqueness of each of my boys.
It was a simple moment of making valentines. A moment that started out as a nuisance. And could of easily been a turned into a unhappy chore. It was like many other moments. But, instead of allowing this moment to just happen without much thought, or consciousness (which I do, WAY too often) something told me to pay attention and notice the little things.
I am so glad I did!