The things we do for love.

It’s Valentine’s Day and love is in the air at Casa de Katie.

Bee-girl is, of course, excited for the party at school…but mostly about the chocolate. Because – Bee. She asked if she could pick out a special (but small) chocolate-something for her best friends. She sees her big sister doing that and would never allow herself to be left behind. I cautiously asked how many “best” friends (my Bee is something of a social butterfly) and was surprised to only hear the names of the three girls she has honestly been good friends with since kindergarten. So even though our budget is tighter, I approved the expenditure of a whopping dollar-apiece chocolate roses and Bee was happy as can be.

Because it’s elementary school, there was also the Making Of The Valentines Box. We prepped for Valentine’s Day two weekends ago, the last time I had the girls for the weekend. We purchased valentines, bought things for all the friends, and I asked if that was all we needed to do. When Bee got her class list from her teacher and spent a night writing out her valentines, I asked again if there was anything else we needed to do. Nevertheless, I wasn’t surprised when Bee asked me last night when I picked her up from After School if we had an empty shoebox. She asked, but it wasn’t really a question. I could hear the confidence in her voice; she fully expected my answer to be “yes”. And it was, for we are a crafting house where nothing gets thrown away because who knows if you might need it. But still – I should have known she wasn’t finished with all of her preparations. So we spent the night making a box. I helped cover it in pink paper, and Bee did the rest of the decorating after we raided my crafting supplies. It was a thing of beauty! And Bee was quite pleased with herself.

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So that was one kiddo all squared away. The other one, Gracie-girl, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Seventh grade is junior high, and I wasn’t expecting Gracie to ask to buy valentines. But she did – she insisted they passed them out in between classes ironically. I shrugged my shoulders and let her do her thing. She bought a small box of chocolates for her two best friends, and then there was the matter of her boyfriend. Gracie settled on getting him a card, a nicer box of chocolates, and a stuffed dog with a heart who looked rather like The Boyfriend’s pet. Gracie was happy, and I was glad her side of Valentine’s was pretty easy. Except…

There was the matter of the Valentine’s dance at her school last Friday night. It was the first dance Gracie officially went with The Boyfriend, and she asked if they could go to dinner afterwards. Her, The Boyfriend, and maybe her two besties. (Poor Boyfriend, always getting stuck with a gaggle of girls! But he seems to be a good sport about it all.) It was her dad’s weekend with the girls, but he wasn’t going to drive them. I told Gracie I could drive them one way, if she could please get someone else’s parent(s) to drive the other way. The dance was immediately after school, so driving from school to the dance was already solved. We just had to get them from the dance, take them to dinner, and then from dinner to home. But no one else could fill in. I’d have to drive both ways. I knew how much it meant to Gracie-girl, and I remembered allllllll the times my mom drove me and my boyfriend to and from the movies or the mall or other places when we were dating pre-license. It was time to pay it forward. So I said yes. In the name of love – mine for my daughter, for my mum, and for Gracie’s and The Boyfriend’s adorable tween love. Also, it meant I got to meet The Boyfriend. I gotta say – between the best friends and now The Boyfriend, Gracie is a good judge of character! I dropped the kids off at Potbellies, and took my book next door to Starbucks. But The Boyfriend’s grandma (who had been saving a table for them at The Boyfriend’s request, in case it was buys. It was dead quiet there. But so cute!) joined me shortly thereafter. She had been planning to eat with the group, since it was a group, but The Boyfriend politely kicked her out and told her I was next door. She was a doll, only I think I scared her with all my talking.

You’d think that would be enough, all of the driving and crafting and buying of things, but this morning I set my alarm for way-too-early, and got up and made cinnamon rolls for the girls for breakfast.

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It’s the little things we do that show everyone how much we love them. Including self-care – I ditched, last minute, the blue, white, and gray outfit I had picked out as anti-Valentine’s. I swapped in a red button-down and picked out some bling and wore my sexy black boots. I might be single again, but that doesn’t mean I can’t look good!

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Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! I hope you’re dusted with happy adventures in whatever shape you need today, big or small.

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