A few days before Valentine's Day, C came home from school brimming with excitement.
C: "Mom! Wait until you see what I made! It's a special Valentine's Day surprise!"
Me: "Oh. Well, maybe I shouldn't look at it until Valentine's Day then?"
C: "No, no, you can look at it now. Look what I made in school today!"
C pulled a beautiful handmade card out of his backpack. As he handed it to me, I could already tell that it was a masterpiece! The front of the card was filled with heart shaped stickers, glitter, and other festive decorations. C had clearly put a lot of effort into this one! I looked down at the card and saw "Dear Mom" at the top. "Awwww..." I thought, "Look at this beautiful Valentine's Day card C made me! And he's so excited about it, he just can't wait to give it to me!" I noticed that he had scribbled over the 'Dear Mom' with pink highlighter. "That must be for emphasis," I thought, "He was even trying to decorate the words themselves because he loves me so much!"
And then I kept reading...
The next few lines read "Dear Ms. T, Happy Valentines Day! You are so nice! I love you! C"
Me: "C? Is this card for your teacher?!"
C: "Yes! Do you think she'll like it? I really hope she likes it!!"
Me: "Well, it's beautiful, so I'm sure she'll love it....But why does it say 'Dear Mom' on the top?"
C: "Oh yeah...well, I started making a card for you. But then Liam said he was going to make a card for Ms. T. And I thought that was a great idea because I REALLY love Ms. T! So I crossed out the 'Dear Mom' and made it for Ms. T instead!"
C: "And then I brought it home so she wouldn't see it before Valentine's
Day. It's going to be a surprise! Do you really think she'll like it,
Mom?! Don't let me forget to take it to school on Valentine's Day!"
Me: "It's really special C! I think Ms T. really will love it!" I put a big smile on my face and gave C a big hug. "I'm so happy you like your teacher so much!"
But I couldn't help being a little sad inside. I would have treasured that card and probably kept it in C's memory box for years. Ms. T probably gets so many cards from students, that it wouldn't really be special to her. Hubby must have sensed my dismay because he said to C, "C, I think that's a beautiful card that you made for Ms. T. But you know what you have to do? You need to make a card that's just as nice for Mommy for Valentine's Day. Because you love her too, right?" C replied matter of factly, "Well, I would Dad. But I can't. Because I don't have any of those cool stickers. That stuff was just for at school."
I dutifully saved the extra special card on the kitchen counter, and on Valentine's Day I put it in C's school folder so he could bring it back to Ms T. When he came home from school, I asked, "Did Ms. T like your card?" C beamed and said, "Mom, she said it was so nice! And then she gave me a big hug! I think she really liked it!"
Well done, Ms. T. She really is a great teacher, and I am happy that C loves her so much.
I just wish I'd thought to make a copy of the card before C took it back to school. It's not every day your name gets scribbled off the front of a love note from your child. I think I'll remember that card...the one that was almost mine...for a long time.