So, this year I almost didn't do a Valentine set. Preoccupied with other things, like watching my kiddo learn to read, training for a marathon, and watching all the mindless television I missed over the last year, I just didn't feel inspired. Not to mention the fact that when asked what he'd like to have his Valentines be about, my son gave the same answer he gives to nearly all questions at the moment: Star Wars. In explaining why I couldn't—and wouldn't—be honoring that request, I launched into a complex discourse on copyright and creativity. And then I remembered he's five.
So I pulled out my tried-and-true, Jedi-tested mind trick: change the subject.
Finally, a few nights ago, having already started to mock something up, I asked him what he thought about a pirate valentine. See, for nearly two years I wondered if my son would ever go more than five minutes without a pirate related thought. I once even set a timer for five minutes and told him he could not talk about pirates until the timer went off. Really. But now? Now, I look at my tall, skinny, Lucasfilms-addled kindergartner and pine for my pudgy, preschool buccaneer. So. Pirates.
"Oh, yeah, it could have swords and two bad guys fighting, but with heart swords, and..."
I never pictured myself as the kind of parent who would allow her child to be entertained by swords and jolly rogers and villains and light sabers. Because I am a hard-core pacifist. But kids love what they love, and while he has a finely tuned appreciation for Donald O'Connor and Gene Kelly, he is also a true connoisseur of swashbuckling frenetic fighting action. That said, I didn't feel comfortable sending cards to school that might offend other parents' delicate sensibilities, thus the swordlessness of this little guy. I also didn't want to go overly gender-differentiated, but my son insisted that there had to be a girl version, thus the batty eyelashes on the red version.
If, like me, you waited until the last possible minute to get this stuff done, I offer these up for your use. For most people, these will be too late to use this year, but you can file them away for next year. Or something. (If you have had your kid's valentines addressed since New Year's, well, I think you're missing out on the pirate ethos.)
The envelopes don't have a space for writing names. Instead, I gave my son a page of labels to write his friends' names on. That way, if he messed up, I wouldn't have to cut out a new envelope. Jedi, I tell you, Jedi.
As always, while I embrace pirates as a design motif, I don't embrace piracy. Print these for ye personal use only, or else, landlubber.