The Kids took store-bought Valentines to school this week. Honestly, they’ve always taken store-bought Valentines to school. I’ve been known to make my kids’ birthday party invitations, and I almost always make our Christmas cards. I’m not saying that to brag, I promise. I enjoy doing them. It’s my thing. I’ve never, ever taken a picture of the results and posted them on Pinterest.
For the lucky ones who’ve never even heard of Pinterest, let me debrief you. It’s a community of sorts. You take pictures of things you like to craft, eat, cook, drink, build, decorate, wear, design, or all of the above. No really, after visiting the website, I’m fairly certain that some of those people knit dinner napkins to match the evening’s veggie soup. Only organic veggie soup of course, and photographed with a DLSR, in hand-thrown ceramic bowls, on placemats that their three year old quilted just today. Of course it all coordinates with the granite countertops and paint colors in the pinner’s kitchen. It looks like a scene from a Martha Stewart magazine.
Once you’ve taken pictures of the things you make, you post them to your various Pinboards, which are virtual bulletin boards that all of your followers can see. What do I mean by followers? They can see everything you “pin” and then have a chance to “re-pin” the photos to their own board. It may sound confusing, but it’s not. Once you get the hang of it, it’s interesting and mildly addictive.
Although I sound it, I’m not bitter. When I was first invited to join Pinterest (after a two week waiting period, mind you), I was mesmerized. It’s beautiful to peruse. The recipes sound delicious, and the accompanying photos are even more enticing. The living rooms are rooms of my dreams, and I had fun re-pinning the designers’ photos to my Pinboards. I made lists of the things I wanted to try, with everything from toy bins made of sand buckets and cable ties to homemade crayons to cheesecake stuffed strawberries. Sounds pretty cool, right?
I thought so. I like making things. I usually prefer it over buying them. I don’t mind the process involved in a good craft.
But this is out of hand.
Instead of birthday parties with helium latex balloons and cake, kids are making their own balloons out of a mixture that the birthday boy’s mother stayed up all night making out of recycled milk cartons. The cake doesn’t just look like Lightening McQueen, it is animated, and it even writes thank you notes. Not to mention the fact that it’s delicious. The invitations actually pick your child up and take them to the party.
Maybe my inadequacies are making me a jealous mess. I wish I had the time to do such things. The truth is, I don’t. Most people don’t. What you end up with is a bunch of folks who feel bad that their kids had Tinkerbell valentines with suckers taped to them. That didn’t stop me from purchasing little cards and suckers.
I helped them put them together, too. I handed them a pencil, their class list, a roll of tape and said, “don’t forget to tape that to that.” What to know the strangest part? They enjoyed it. They had a blast going to Target and picking out which cruddy character cards they wanted. The Girl was so proud to write each of her classmate’s names on the lines. The Boy drew a little heart under his name. I thought it was all very sweet and fun. And simple.
If you stayed up all night making valentines for your 6 month-old, kudos to you. I’m sure they’ll remember it always. If your child is going to school today with a mom-crafted card and piece of mom-made fancy candy, they’re probably embarrassed by it. The other mothers will be impressed, which is all that matters, right? The kids want a Dum Dum and a Star Wars valentine. And Dum Dum they shall have. I aim to please. I won’t complain about the extra sleep.