As a working mom, have you ever found yourself scrambling around last minute to make all the Valentine’s dreams come true? The box. The valentines. Maybe even the treat bags? This is a story about how my ideas and my daughter’s ideas of the perfect valentine box didn’t quite measure up. Oh, and that Pinterest needs to die.

My youngest daughter, Jules, reminded me (read: informed me for the first time) on the Sunday before Valentine’s Day that she needed to make a Valentine box for school. My heart stopped for just a few seconds but picked back up after my speedy quick mom brain rearranged the one-thousand things I had to fit into my schedule that day and carefully carved out a 20-minute time slot where I could zip into Michael’s and grab something that would be… good enough.

I got to Michael’s and started to peruse the picked-over remnants of what once was isles full of Valentine craft potential but was now just sad boxes of foam stickers. I made my way to the photo boxes and found a pink one.  Perfect. I texted her a picture of the box and asked if it would work. She quickly texted back a picture of an Airstream Camper Valentine box and said that she was thinking more along the lines of that.

Did you hear me? Did you read that correctly? An AIRSTREAM Camper Valentine box.

Oh, wow. We are so not on the same page, kid. And did you miss the memo that I’m a working mom? Working moms get a pass, right? We get to grab a box of valentines from Target and call it done. Or, so I thought.

Immediately my armpits start to sweat. I throw that piece of trash pink photo box back into the pile it came from and began looking for Airstream camper shaped boxes. Yeah, that totally doesn’t exist. I asked her where one could find a box shaped like that?

She didn’t know.

I began to realize that this was just not going to end well. My 20 minutes were up and I ran out of there holding back the sobs and wondering how I could even call myself a mother. Not really.

I go pick up my groceries and head home. Once there, Jules had the audacity to ask me if I got The. Pink. Photo. Box.

No, no, I didn’t. Because you said you wanted to make an Airstream Camper so I thought surely if I brought you back a pink photo box you would beat me with it.

I show my husband the picture of the camper and complain about how impossible it is to be a mom these days. I mean, Pinterest needs to die. I’m not even kidding. Shut that down.

Do you know what he said? He said, “Hmm, I can probably make that out of some cardboard.” Oh, yeah. You are an architect. You made tiny models of things for years in college and liked it.

This is taking a turn I did not expect.

Is he saying that he is going to take this on?

Yes, yes he was.

We were not able to really hash this plan out because we had a birthday extravaganza to go to at Aunt Lexi’s house for the rest of the evening leaving us with only one evening to build the Taj Mahal. I mean, Airstream Camper Valentine box. Same.

However, luck was really on our side. Aunt Lexi has a whole closet room full of scrapbook paper and one of those letter cutting machines. I wonder…

Jules picked out some paper and Lexi cut out her name. She even had a tear-out-pennant-flag-scrap-book-banner. Who has that? Aunt Lexi does. That’s who.

We got home late so I woke Levi up early and reminded him of the gauntlet that he threw down the day before. In about 15 minutes he had all the parts we needed cut out and ready to assemble complete with instructions drawn on them.

This is going down.

I tell Jules we can work on it that evening and I estimated that we would get in bed around 2 am.

Much to my surprise, when I walked in from work she had the whole thing decorated. I think the sky opened and the angels came down and sang me a song, but I can’t be sure.

My new bedtime estimation moved up by a good 3 hours.

I held parts together while she hot glued her little heart out until we had ourselves an Airstream Camper Valentine box. I even created personalized bag tags in Word and printed them from home because Pinterest.  Die. Die. Die.

Who even AM I?

We did it. We pulled it off. The Swinneys who still have Christmas stuff out just pulled off the Valentine box of the century.

The box was done, the Valentines were assembled, and most importantly, I was in bed by 10:00. But then I notice a text from Jules sent earlier…

“Hey mom, here is a link to the tutorial for the hairstyle I want you to do in the morning. It’s like a knot-heart-twisty-braid thing. Good night!”

Que the armpit sweat…

I’m sorry if I have betrayed anyone with this Pinterest worthy Valentine farce. It just came together. It’s not my fault.

I tried to send her with a box of Spongebob cards with those crappy cherry heart suckers. But, Pinterest…

And for the record, she did not get her knot-heart-twisty-braid hairstyle. There’s only so far one can go, and an Airstream Camper Valentine Box is far enough.

Connie Swinney
I am a 40-year-old mom of two girls ages 15 (an ADHD cheerleader/connoisseur of junk food) and 13 (dimpled ball of fire and fury… this one keeps us on our toes and scared) and wife to a bearded architect. I am currently a third-grade math and science teacher and former blogger who can’t seem to let the writing dream die.


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