My Valentine’s Day Pin

My son made this little heart pin for me when he was 4 years old. He’s now 25. He was so proud of it (as only a preschooler can be) when he gave it to me for Valentine’s Day, wrapped in tissue paper, all those years ago. I’ve worn it every Valentine’s Day since.

As you can see, he painted the wooden heart base black. Why not red or pink? I don’t know. He was always a cautious child, so maybe red seemed like too risky a choice in his 4-year-old mind.

Some of the glitter has worn off, but amazingly, most still remains. Glitter in the hands of 4-year-olds can be risky in itself, but it looks very nice on my pin.

The blue and orange stones were also an interesting color choice for a Valentine’s Day pin, but my son never has gone along with the crowd. In fact, he does what he likes and if the rest of the kids were choosing red, he might stubbornly have gone for the colors that no one else would choose.

My Valentine’s pin marks the passing years in the same way that my children’s birthdays, first days of school, proms, graduations, moving in and out of dorm rooms and the plethora of small, personal family moments do. Like those moments, the little wooden heart is a solid symbol of my son’s preschool years, and when I hold it, I can see his chubby little hands covered with paint and glitter as he assembles it. The heart, the traditions, the transitions, are all opportunities to make us stop for a moment and reflect.

This morning, I woke to find texts from my kids, from Austin to Arkansas, wishing me a Happy Valentine’s Day, and thanking me for the small gift their dad and I had mailed to them since we can’t be with them. I miss them and am so happy that they’re my children.

Wood, glue, paint and plastic jewels are worth more to me than gold and diamonds every Valentines’ Day.

Categories: Editor’s Blog