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I Make the Fancy Treats for Me, Not Them

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Tomorrow is Valentine's Day.

*I'll pause while the men reading this fly into a panic and run out of the room to buy cards and flowers.*

Tonight I will sit down and make my son's Valentine's Day cards. I don't mean the putting them together and sitting there while he signs them kind.

I mean, I'm making them. At home. From scratch, if you will.

Why, you ask? Why don't I just buy them at the store and let him fill them in like most everyone else? It isn't because I'm crazy.
(I am.)

It is because I have it stuck in my brain that my shot at redemption for all of the other Mom Fails I've accumulated in my childrens' lives are handily wrapped up in Classroom Holiday Treats.

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Dr. Seuss' Birthday. If they celebrate it, I decorate it and send it to school.

I, inexplicably, cling to the belief that if I can just blow this one thing out of the water, my kids will be proud of me. They will be able to hold their head up high in class as they pass out their handmade, papercrafted, Platinum-level Pinterest original class party favor.

Forgotten will be the shirt I didn't get washed in time for practice and the permission slip that I had to race to school with at the last conceivable second. Memories will be wiped clean of all the two minute late arrivals to events, the mismatched socks, and that one time I went to an assembly and forgot to wash off the raccoon mascara under my eye.

Just the one eye, in case you're wondering.

It is going to take me at least five hours to make these exquisite creations. FIVE HOURS. And I know my son will appreciate them. He will love them. His teacher will "ooooh" and "aaaaahh" over them and his friends will rip them to shreds on sight to get to the candy inside.

But, let's face it. I'm not making these for my son. I'm not making them for his teacher or his friends. I'm making them for me. I'm spending the time and energy because in this one gift I give, I fill a gap inside myself. I right some wrong only I perceive. My son doesn't remember the shirt, or the permission slip, and he never even noticed the raccoon eye.

It's all me. Feeling a little guilt.

As a mom I sense every single inadequacy. I see every mistake. I own every shortcoming. I don't have to, I just do. No one else sees me that way. Certainly not my sweet kids.

But where I should forgive myself for my flaws and near misses as a parent, where I would never even notice them in others, I go looking for a way to "make up."

So, please. If your child brings home a treat I made, give it a little "ooooh" and "aaaaah" just for me?

Because I'm just a Mom, working off a little guilt.

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