The kids and I made our first visit back to California since our move to Maine 7.5 years ago. We were joined by Sal, O’da and Bri in Carpenteria, south of Santa Barbara. The kids’ home state allowed us to re-live so many fond memories: winter sunshine, Mexican food on every street corner, mountains, vibrant February community gardens and farmers markets, loaded citrus trees, tart dried apricots, friendly strangers, Amtrak rides, outdoor winter swimming, seals and pelicans. All of this combined with time with our Quirk family made the week pretty perfect. If only Tim and Anna, who had to stay home for work, had been there!
I HATE Valentines day. It feels like a pastiche of real emotion. It mixes romantic love with friendship love. Kids are not supported in distinguishing those ideas. In elementary school in Maine, and I think throughout the US, kids made to bring valentines day cards for every one of the their class mates. Because that is such an impossible task, most parents buy junky pre-made commerical valentines cards with the latest star wars or disney figures on them. These are popular with kids because of the narrative, and we all get to throw away a lot of paper. It’s really quite disgusting.
But this year, Liam made 10 Origami dragons of his own design. We are talking 8 points here. 4 legs, 2 wings, a tail and a head, with ears. They are lovely.
And Reid and I came up with a different scheme. A home-made but mass-produced valentines card. First Reid drew up a black and white outline with fancy 3D lettering. Then I took a photo of it, did some minor doctoring to keep the white really white. Then We printed a double-sided card for each of his classmates, and colored them in with markers. The result is quite awesome, especially when you see the diversity of cards together (sorry no photo) because the color combinations are different on each.