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Friday, February 17, 2012

Valentines for Pigeon : : 2012

At just four months plus one day old, February 14th didn't mean much to Pigeon yet. It meant more to Mother now that she had a Pigeon to make a valentine for. Truthfully, what she really liked about it was the idea of making valentines with Pigeon--for cousins, neighbors, grandparents, friends... But little Pigeon wasn't quite ready for that.

Someday you will make a Valentine's mailbox, Mother said. She remembered making her own in school when she was a little girl, how they all had to bring in a shoebox on a special day during Valentine's week. The whole class would decorate together in a frenzy of pink and red construction paper, white paper doilies, and glittering stickers in the shapes of hearts. A teacher or room mother would help cut a slit in the top for deliveries, and the post boxes would sit on the desks during the Valentine party.

We were allowed to have sweets at our parties, back then, she said. Parents would send in cupcakes and cookies on trays. And you could still tape chocolate hearts to your valentines... In anticipation of a cupcake or a foil-wrapped sweet, the kids would run around delivering their messages and treats to the shoe boxes. Each person would bring cards for everyone else in the class; it was the one day when you might get something nice said to you (in writing!) from someone who didn't usually like you very much. For a whole afternoon, at least, everyone felt safe and important, showered with love and friendship and hope. 

Anyway, I like you VERY much, Mother thought, looking at Pigeon while he slept. And so she used a little money she'd set aside to buy him a valentine--a new book for his library. At the bookstore she'd browsed the shelves of the Valentine's display, but found the holiday books scant in story and fat in price. Instead she found a book on another shelf that made her smile, for it was about two friends and their adventures together. The pictures were familiar to her, by one of her favorite illustrators. This is Valentine enough for me, she thought, even if it isn't done in pink and red.

Mother also bought Father a carton of tea and a nice broad mug for his new office. The next day she wrapped everything up in red and white, gathered up the cards that had come in the mail, and set them out on the table before Father came home for supper.

Later Pigeon helped peel the tissue paper away from his gift and ran his hands with happiness over the glossy cover picture of Frog and Toad on their bicycle. Mother and Father were both delighted at Pigeon's early love of books. This one has a whole week's worth of new stories in it, all in one book, Mother said. Pigeon also got cards from people all over the country. The grandparents and great-grandparents tucked money into their notes for Pigeon's piggy bank. Cousin Emily wrote him a special note with the new writing she'd learned in school. Father was pleased over his tea; Mother got a card and a sack full of coffee (the type she was too cheap to buy for herself) and smiled.

That night they read about Frog and Toad and snuggled in bed, and soon Pigeon was once again asleep and dreaming. Mother was glad to have this chance to delight him with simple gifts, when everything to him was new and exciting, and he wasn't burdened with the thought of giving her anything in return. How wonderful, she thought about Pigeon, to be so happy, so free to enjoy what is simple, to be able to give so much to the world without trying.

9 comments:

  1. Pigeon's GrammyFebruary 17, 2012 at 5:13 AM

    Pigeon's Mom,

    Just sitting here with tears of joy in my eyes...
    You're making such a priceless gift for Pigeon! God has given you a real talent with words and a deep gift - time well-spent in motherhood. Thank you for sharing these sweet moments with us all.

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  2. In my humble opinion, you picked THE very best book for children as your Valentine's Day gift to your sweet one. Blessed is he to have such a good book "picker" for a MOM!!

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  3. Frog and Toad Together is the perfect story for your little Pigeon.

    I love the way you write... so beautiful.

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  4. @Jill--at $5.98 (for a large, hardcover collection?!) I could hardly resist. But yes, if there is one thing I hope to pass on to Pidge, it is a taste for GREAT books!

    @Jennifer--thanks so much! So glad you enjoy Pidge's stories...hope he does too, someday!

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  5. Hi, Grammy! Thanks for reading good books to mommy when she was little like me!!! -love, Pigeon

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  6. that was so beautiful:) I love reading these memories because they remind me of my own precious memories!!

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    Replies
    1. And you have plenty more years of new memories coming!

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  7. I agree with Pigeon's Grammy... you do have a way with words and as I read this I was very inspired by the emotion you expressed - not just for Pigeon, but for Pigeon's Dad as well. There was a tenderness and thoughtfulness in every step you took.. you made a special day truly magical for your family.

    Thank you for this heart-warming contribution to {Magic of the Mundane}.

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Do you enjoy Pigeon's stories? Tell him about it! He would love to hear from you!