About 3 weeks ago, I was preparing lunch when I asked my two 2nd Graders if their class was having a Valentine's Day party. They excitedly started talking at the same time.
"Yah! Mrs. S said that we should have a party!"
"We'll have ice-cream!"
"...and she said to bring valentines..."
"...and we'll put them in a big envelope!"
I stopped cranking the salad spinner and turned to face them.
"Whaaat?! A big envelope?"
The girls looked at each other and nodded. Almost at the same time, they started talking again..
"Yah....she said that's all we're going to get."
"She'll let us decorate the envelope with stickers but that's it. "
I asked, "No mailboxes?"
I tried again, "Not even a decorated empty tissue box?"
The twins shook their heads and sadly said, "No. We asked her and she said no."
Somehow that felt wrong. The twins have always had some kind of a box from school to put their Valentines in. We've done the decorate-a-kleenex-box a few times now and I was totally expecting the same this year. Using a big yellow envelope just isn't the same. Even if you decorate it with stickers.
We were quiet for a moment when suddenly, one of the twins looked up and said,
"But Mom! YOU can make them for US!"
And so that was how I decided that I had to take matters into my own hands. It would have been unfair to let the girls bring two mailboxes to school for themselves. The only way for them to get those mailboxes on their desks was to have the rest of their classmates have one each too.
I met up with Mrs S last Wednesday and she admitted that she had intended to let the kids have a big envelope because, well, she didn't think to let them have a box. I showed her 2 mailboxes that I made and asked if she'd mind if I made them for the kids. She was delighted! I told her that I will make them and the kids could do the decorating. I will also leave the flags blank so that they could write their names on it. I will provide the brads for the kids to fix the flags onto the mailbox. Mrs. S seemed excited at the idea although she also sounded skeptical that I could actually finish making them. So I went to Michael's, bought a pack of cardstock and got to work.
By the way, if you ever need to make a hole in a lot of mailboxes, I found out that the best tool for the job is this Cricut Hook/Dental Pick thingy. It worked so much better than a long-reach hole punch. Especially when you have to punch a lot of them.
Today is Valentine's Day. It took me a day, a stack of cardstock, and two rolls of ATG tape but I did it. Of all the things that I made this year, I think that I am most proud of these. Sure, the owl treat bags were adorable but the girls and I were the only one who had fun putting them together. The thought of the other kids decorating their own mailbox for their Valentines thrills me so much more. Valentines belong in a mailbox, not in a big yellow envelope! At least when you are in 2nd Grade.
The class party is in 1 hour. I have to run to the store now to pick up 2 tubs of Vanilla ice-cream but what I really can't wait is to see the kids' faces when they see their mailboxes. All 27 of them.
Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!