FEATURE — Perusing endless rows of valentine cards and candy hearts, you might think this holiday has something to do with sex, romance or love. You’re wrong. In my experience, Valentine’s Day is actually about something entirely else: slime.
The caption on my Kindergartner’s valentine card to his classmates this year read:
All of that slimy, mushy love stuff isn’t really my thing. But ACTUAL slime? Yeah, I can do that.
My son attached the note to a small plastic bag containing homemade glitter slime and painstakingly wrote each of his classmates’ names on the back in yellow highlighter – pink slime for Ruby because she’s a “girly girl,” green slime for Ada because she’s not a “girly girl” – until he had a prized heap of 27 perfectly packed slime blobs.
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Twenty minutes earlier we’d been elbows-deep in the slime-making process: emptying container after container of glitter glue into mixing bowls; measuring Borax; adding water; hand-mixing; adding more water and Borax; hand-mixing again; and then harvesting the treasure.
The real trick to it all is adding just the right amount of liquid and Borax so the glue turns solid enough to form slime but not so solid it seizes up. Nobody likes cement slime.
Midpoint during the messy process, my boy turned to me, his hands deep in the glittery goop, and said: “This is awesome! It’s like our thing, Mom.”
He’s right. It is kind of our thing. We have a long history of making slime together for Valentine’s Day. This year it’s glitter slime. Last year it was farting slime. The time before that is was regular slime. But … it is always slime. And always homemade.
I love that he recognizes “our thing.” I hadn’t until he articulated it.
That’s not really what got me though. While peering over his black-rimmed glasses, hands still in the goop, he dropped a bigger bomb: “You make everything fun. You’re way better than those moms who buy dumb valentines at the store.”
Slime is our love language. There’s something about it that brings out the love in my boy. And there’s something about love that brings out the slime-making in me.
Last year, it meant a midnight run to the store to get two more containers of glue for farting slime. This year, it meant ransacking five office supply departments for enough red, blue, green and pink glitter glue for glitter slime.
Sometimes I wonder if my boys really get this whole love business. They are quick to complain, impolite and especially good at pointing out my flaws. They fight with each other over the remote and leave smelly socks all over the house in spite of frequent reminders that I’m not their maid.
Then we have moments over a bowl of glitter slime and I know that they get it.
Love is about shared experiences. Love is about giving. Love is about helping each other be our best selves. And sometimes, love is about farting slime.
Kat Dayton is a columnist for St. George News, any opinions given are her own and not representative of St. George News.
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