A heart-shaped rock (I found on the banks of the Colorado River last October, dressed up for a Valentine's Day present for C):
This year was the first since M was three years old that I didn't make homemade Valentines with the boys (some Valentines past here, here, here, here, here, and here).
I just did not feel like it. Instead, I printed out these Animal Valentines from the National Wildlife Federation, handed them to E and Z, along with scissors and pencils, and left the room.
Z, who has never once participated in Valentine making in anything more than a reluctant, half-hearted and mess-making way, finished his first (complaining all the while, and saying he'd rather make the clay hearts that we made last year...ahem, the clay hearts that I made last year).
I had been a little worried that they might find the sentiments on the cards too mushy for giving to boys, but I forgot that eight-year-old boys are not yet uncomfortably with expressing their feelings toward other boys, it's the girls that gross them out. On every girl's card, Z wrote, "Hey, it's my mom's idea," or "I don't actually like you," or just plain "No." (I made him erase the last two--the holiday is, after all, about being nice to people, isn't it?).