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Just in Time, Valentine.


What happened to the old days when there were a couple of (zealously high-achieving, crafty and brilliant) room mothers who hosted the class Valentine’s Party?

Things have changed.

“The Valentine’s Party is on Tuesday, and all parents are welcome.”

Translate that in Mom Language: If you don’t come, your child will be the only one abandoned and orphaned in a room filled with hearts, glitter, cupcakes, and affection.

Multiply this by the fact that the PreK party happened at the same time, in the same school, in a different classroom.

I am one mom with two boys with separate, coinciding Valentine’s parties.  Plus, I’m not exactly in my prime for hosting/attending a Valentine’s anything.

I arrived at the end of the day, to bring my Valentines home (with their Valentine stash).  Tyler’s class was lining up with their jackets, coats and post-party hangover.  Tucker’s class had fifteen minutes left, and they were eating the last of their sprinkled cupcakes.

I got there just before the end of each.

My children were somber on the car ride home.
“Mommy, why didn’t you come?”
“I thought you would come.  All the other moms came.”
“I was watching for you.  But you didn’t come.”

There are so many answers to this question.

I could say I was working, which I truly was.  But I don’t want them to think I choose work over them.  I could say… many things, really.

“Buddy, I just couldn’t go to a party today.”


“Because Daddy was my Valentine, and I’m missing him today.  My heart felt sad, so I just couldn’t try to be a party girl.”

“Maybe you can come next time?”

“Maybe I will, kiddo.”

That night, Grandma asked, “So, guys, tell me about your Valentine’s party.”

And Tucker, so sweetly, said, “My mommy came just in time.”

“Did she?  Did she get a cupcake?”

“Well, no. She came after the cupcakes.”

In a subtle voice and off to the side, I told her about the Mom Guilt I’m carrying for my inability to be in two places at one time, for my incapacity to turn on the party face at the scheduled times.

Tucker is a little listener.  Seemingly busy with another task, he put his hand on my arm.  He made sure he had my attention.

“Mommy, did you hear me?  Did you hear what I said?  You came just in time.”

Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. And his is the vote that matters!

  2. Tricia, your boys make me so proud. Glad to know all of you.

    With tears….

  3. You are raising some amazing boys. They will make excellent husbands one day.

  4. They hear….oh so sweet!

  5. Praise the Lord for giving you such insight in knowing how to answer your Tucker and Ty! May God continue to guide you day by day on this new journey!!!

    I’ve been praying for you since last Christmastime when everything as you knew it changed. I appreciate your writing talent.

  6. That is so sweet, that brought tears to my eyes. I think it is good that you are explaining to them simply and honestly what is going on so they can understand!

  7. Oh my goodness! Those boys are just the sweetest! Such grace.

  8. So sweet! You are so blessed with those little men! Don’t beat yourself up, Tricia. You are a fantastic Mom to them and they know they are loved!!!!!

  9. such a sweet boy 🙂

  10. Oh my. Your son is so full of grace and love for you, and is so wise at such a young age. He leaves me breathless sometimes.

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