In our house, the Valentine Season is more about the valentines kids bring to their friends at school than a declaration of romantic love. Meaning, a few weeks ago we set out to make our school valentines and have yet to finish…
The part of me that loves coming up with projects to do with my kids finds this situation completely satisfactory. We get to work on a project together and have hours of entertainment! The kids will have an end product that they get to share with their peers! Fun! The other part of me that is a bit of a perfectionist with said projects is having a harder time with the process. In my mind’s eye, the valentines we made together were finished weeks ago and were exceptionally cute (read: professional).
Then came the realization that I had a choice to make. Would these by my valentines? Or, (correct answer) would these be my kids’ valentines? We all love to show the world what we can do (me included, obviously)… And yes, I do love me a good craft project. So, we compromised. The project did involve Shrinky Dink hearts and it did involve some group stamping, but more importantly, it involved letting my kiddo practice writing names over and over again. I must admit to feeling a teensy bit proud of myself that I did not take the pen away to write all the valentines myself (in my efficient, adult penmanship), but rather I am allowing my five-year-old the time and space to practice his budding handwriting skills night, after night, after night… This may not seem like a big deal. In fact, it may sound quite insane. But each of us has things we do well and areas where we are challenged. Right? (Insert head nod here.) Small victories.
In the end, these valentines will end up in the recycling bin after a day or two, but my son will feel more confident writing his and his brother’s names going forward. As we encourage our little people to spread their wings and master new skills, it is a good reminder, that although a project may take longer (most likely), will be messier (guaranteed), and may turn out differently than imagined (quite probably), there is more to be gained from the process than from doing it all ourselves. I am hopeful that we will be done by Thursday morning… Fingers crossed. Clearly, handwriting is not the only lesson being learned from this project!