Real Life Mama: That’s a wrap on Valentine’s Day boxes

It’s that time of year again – the making of the Valentine’s Day box. Listen, I know they say that we will miss these kinds of things one day, but I am not sure that day will come for me when it comes to Valentine’s Day boxes. I am literally terrible at them.

In fact, when Reagan’s teacher sent home a note that they would make bags in class and we didn’t need to do one for her, I was ecstatic. Whew, that means we only have to do Maylie’s this year. Which is good, because I am just not crafty at all.

However, Lee on the other hand, was made for this kind of stuff. I have literally never met someone who can bring things to life like this guy does – especially when it is a request from one of our kids. A few years ago, Maylie wanted a forest on her wall for her birthday – and in 24 hours, this man transformed an entire wall of her bedroom into a scenic masterpiece.

So, amidst the hype of the expensive handled tumblers, when Maylie proclaimed that she wanted a Stanley cup as her Valentine’s Day box, I watched Lee’s eyes light up as he was already planning out how he could put it together in his head.

As Lee was working on it behind the scenes, Maylie mentioned that not many people were bringing in boxes this year. After all, she was in fifth grade (the final grade for Valentine’s Day boxes) and I guess some people were just too cool for it. I was a little worried that Lee would put this all together and she would be too embarrassed to take it in. But I wanted her to at least see it and make the decision from there.

Per the norm, Lee did not disappoint. Using buckets and pipes and paint and things that I would have never thought of, this man constructed a huge cup that looked like an exact replica (except much larger) of the real thing. When he finished it and handed it to Maylie, she was pumped. And I was a little relieved.

There was not a single ounce of her that cared if anyone else brought a box into school this year, she had the coolest one ever and was proudly going to take it in. You would have thought that Lee actually made her dreams come true. The excitement behind her smile was contagious, and I couldn’t help but join her in it.

Wanting to add a touch of herself, you know, since they are supposed to at least help with the Valentine’s Day boxes ha, we picked up some stickers and gems for her to make it her own. Lining the straw with fake diamond stickers and staging hearts all around, she bedazzled her cup right up to match her illuminated smile.

On that day of her party, I offered to drive her to school – the cup was rather large to take on the bus. But, oh no, that girl was adamant that she was showing it off to everyone on the bus. She was beaming as she walked out the door with it and still smiling from ear to ear when I showed up later that afternoon for her class party. She absolutely loved it.

And so did everyone else. Heck, even the principal commented on it when I was walking in – to which I quickly admitted that I did not have anything to do with the making of it – it was all Lee and Maylie. On our way out of school that day, we received so many comments on it and even had people stop us to take a picture of it. Ha. Maylie felt like a superstar.

Look, I know that is not what making Valentine’s Day boxes is all about – I am well aware that it should be a fun time for the kiddos to put their craft to work. However, these kids have, unfortunately, been blessed with a Mama who just loathes the thought of Valentine’s Day boxes and hasn’t been much help over the years. So, for her to get to show off some amazing handiwork and feel special for a day, I was all about it.

And she was too. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times she thanked Lee for his work – to which he kind of shrugged it off. That’s just what he does – anything and everything to make these kids of ours smile.

So that’s a wrap on Valentine’s Day boxes for Maylie. And, at least for now, I am not sad at all. I am not sure we could have ever topped it anyway, so what a way to go out – over the top, epic and feeling all the love.

Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her daughters and writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.