sweet expectations

February 14, 2010 at 8:23 pm 4 comments

I made three sweet valentines for three sweet girls last night. I stayed up late picking colors and themes I thought would suit their individual tastes. Then Nathan set them on the table with the breakfast spread and a little dish half-full of candy at each place setting.

This morning as I heard the pitter-patter of their feet entering the kitchen, I expected to hear: Oh my gosh! Nallie/Mama made us cards!… Oh, mine is so beautiful…. Oh wow…. etc. But I didn’t. What I did hear?

Quiet munching.

It seems the novelty of candy, not only in the house, but at the breakfast table (??!!!), trumped any trifling home-made valentine cards by mom. Disappointed, I even stooped so low as to call them into the bedroom and fish around by saying “Happy Valentines Day! Did you like your cards?” And Nathan surreptitiously whispered: “She made those for you guys.” The girls dutifully thanked me, but then said: “And there was candy on the table too!!!!!!!!”

Oh well.

It serves as a good reminder that parenting, making valentines, or anything for that matter, should only be done for one’s own personal enjoyment and not the reward of an expected response. I mean, there was candy involved. Something so rare in our house as to definitely incite rapid and silent ingestion. I should have known.

Then later in the afternoon Nathan and I realized we hadn’t acquired any sweet treats for the adults.

What dodo brains!

Well, I like to think we are getting better at this gig. So maybe next year I’ll stay up late again, scritching and scratching out mama-made valentines, but next time I will be fully aware that those cards might be shoved immediately and violently aside to gain access to candy hearts. Also, next year, I certainly will remember to save a bit (or more) of that red, white, and pink sugar aside… for us!


Entry filed under: life lessons, parenting principles. Tags: , , .

bright spots blogging through mud

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ivy  |  February 14, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    That is always the hard part — remembering that no matter how much we put into anything our kids don’t owe us something in return. We all want the praise, the appreciation, the thankfulness. It feels good to get those things. But we need to do what we do because we want to, or because it is the right thing for us to do as parents, or because it brings us joy to do it, and not because we expect anything back. Sometimes it is really really hard to be the grown-up.

  • 2. Joanna Smetanka  |  February 15, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    oh the powers of sugar! that’s funny!

  • 3. Joanna Smetanka  |  February 15, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    oh, and really sweet cards, you should sell them!!

  • 4. Angela  |  February 16, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    so cute! i stayed up as well, writing love letters to my loves, all the things i love about each of them. i handed them out after we all had brownies for dessert, so they did actually read them and give me hugs, for a second… and then, they asked for another brownie as they set aside their chocolate smeared letters. oh well.


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