Valentine Views

15 Feb
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Nia's Pile of Sweet Sayings

I can’t believe I’m just now realizing how Valentine’s Day brings out some interesting opinions and reactions in people – even at a young age. There are those who are anti-“Hallmark” holiday. Those who do just enough to swoon their significant other. Those who may go overboard. And those who are encouraged to participate. I suppose that last category can apply to adults too but I’m thinking about it more related to kids.

Like many young kids, both Nia and Nate had valentine exchanges at school. They were given a list of all the children in their class to make sure no one was left out. I always enjoyed doing these exchanges as a kid and remember all the fun and creativity that went into the boxes for collecting the treasures. I remember how extravagant some of the boxes were. I have a memory of one child’s being not a box at all but a mini-Love Boat. (Mine was always a shoe box covered in construction paper with hand-drawn crooked hearts and predictable love messages on it.)

They don’t ask us to create boxes like that now – just have the kids write out their card of choice to all the other children. Some people add to that with candy, scrapbook-type elegance or even individual goody bags. Others don’t give any valentine at all. It made me wonder if their parents just didn’t take the time to do it with them or maybe they can’t afford such a treat-type thing or maybe the child/parent just didn’t want to buy into the “Hallmark” holiday. Whatever the reason, for future V-Days, I plan to donate a few boxes of blank cards to the classroom so that all kids can participate if they’d like. After all, soon enough the exchange won’t be mandated so that even the little mean Johnny/Suzy gets a Be Mine card. It will be more strategic. Where only a someone special is wished Be Mine. Picking and choosing a Valentine. What age does that start?

It seems Nia is already creeping toward that. While writing hers out, she was so concerned about running out of the standard “Happy Valentine’s Day” cards and having to give a non-BFF a BFF card. Nate wanted to make sure all of his friends would like the card they got. He was worried about giving the girls a Buzz or Woody character card because, “they’re girls.” When I told him that they will love to get any card he gives them, he relaxed a bit but still made every effort to give them either the cowgirl, Jessie, or the horse, Bullseye.

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Nate's Love Wishes

I suppose I remember reading into my mandatory valentines some when I was a kid. Is so-and-so really “head over heels” for me?! He must be! I mean, he picked this card just to give to me, right?!

Glad I kept that all to myself. That would have been embarrassing to admit out loud.

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One Response to “Valentine Views”

  1. Anna February 27, 2011 at 12:52 am #

    Oh I think it started in 3rd grade for me… not only was I super picky about what cards were given to certain kids (ahem… boys and mean girls), I also poured over all the Valentines to see what certain boys gave to me. I was *sure* they were as particular as I was about the Valentines! So silly.

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