On Friday, I dropped Noah off at pre-school armed with his first homemade Valentine’s Day lovebox, along with a plethora of awesomeness to hand out to the other kids in his class. It was to be his first real experience in the crazy world of love, and we made sure to do it in style.

When I picked Noah up from school the day before, I asked him if he wanted to go to the store and choose some Valentine’s Day cards or if he’d rather go home and make his own cards with a funny picture of him on the front. Since making “funny pictures” together is one of our favorite things to do, he didn’t have to think twice. He declared that he wanted to hand out cards that had his face on them.

And that’s how every kid in his class ended up with this in their loveboxes:

We had a lot of fun making his Valentine’s Day Cards. First we sat together finding the perfect photographs of Noah and Cupid to merge together. When we googled the word cupid, the screen filled with tiny images, half of them featuring extremely buck naked bodies. Noah immediately pointed to a picture of a naked woman. “I want that one!” he declared before I could shut down the screen. I laughed and told him we should find one that wasn’t a neckid person. This time I typed in “cupid clipart,” and we found far more acceptable images to sort through.

After we found a good cupid, we began sorting through old photography of Noah. He chose the photograph with the head displayed on the cupid above, and I opened the file in Photoshop. “Okay, let’s cut out your head,” I said as I selected the appropriate tool.

“I don’t want you to cut off my head!” he screamed, somewhat terrified.
I assured him we wouldn’t do that and showed him what I meant. He began laughing hysterically, telling me over and over that he thought I was going to cut his head off. We finished the picture and I stepped away to grab my camera. When I came back, Noah was pointing at the screen, counting aloud the feathers on the cupid’s wings.

We then added text and began printing his card. Noah insisted on pulling each page from the printer himself, after which he stacked them all in a perfect pile, ready to cut.

Once we’d printed all of the cards, we headed to the bedroom where Noah was excited to finally be allowed to use the paper cutter. I helped him line up the cards, and he chopped each sheet with perfection.

Next we moved into the guest room where our giant stockpile of M&Ms has been building. I gave Noah the assignment to find a big bag of individually wrapped party-size candies. Noah jumped on the task with fervor. He loves any excuse to dive into the giant M&M pile.

After we found and inspected the perfect M&Ms for his friends, we headed downstairs where Noah carefully folded each card.

Noah then stuffed the M&Ms into each card, after which Dad taped the sides together.

I couldn’t help but laugh out loud as we finished the last card and Noah picked it up and kissed it.

Needless to say, he was pretty proud of a job well done.

We piled the cards into a bag along with his show-and-tell stuffed snake for the next day, and then gave each other a high-five. I texted his mom to tell her that his Valentine’s Day cards were done and ready to go. She texted back “Ha! That makes two sets of them then!”

I started laughing. “Noah, you already made some Valentine’s cards with Mom?”

“Yeah!”

“How come you didn’t tell me?” I asked.

“Cause I wanted to make some with you!”

I just shook my head and high-fived him again. “That just means you’ll be double cool at school, I guess!”

Without another word, he trotted off to play with his dog. I won’t lie. I looked at what we had made together and I just felt happy.

I had been trying to figure out what I wanted to write for this holiday post, seeing that I am single on V-Day for the first time in almost a decade. I was really excited when I got an email reminding me of this awesome school tradition that I had always loved when I was a kid. It saved me from writing some other lame “I’m a loser on Valentine’s Day” post.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

PS. What are your favorite Valentine’s Day traditions? What are your big plans for today?

Also, as long as we’re on the subject of love, be sure to come back tomorrow for my post “Time vs. the Worthless Heart.” In it, I answer the most frequent question I am asked. What happened that “a guy like me” has been divorced twice. Today, just enjoy love for all the awesomeness that it is.