Valentine’s Day ~ Grade School-Style


Last night, our little family assembled ourselves around the kitchen table, surrounded by every craft item that could be found. It was time to make the anticipated Valentines Box.

Glitter. Check.

Ribbons. Check.

One shoebox. Check.

Construction paper, glue, scissors, and tape. Check, check, check, and check.

Feathers, markers, and streamers. Triple check.

Ensuing chaos? Um . . . CHECK!

When you’re in 1st grade, Valentine’s Day is more about the candy you hope to get and even more about the package–er, box–you’re going to put it in. It has nothing to do with romance, broken hearts, sonnets of love, or symbolic trinkets (at least I hope not at this age). Even if all the candy attached to meaningless paper cards ends up being pixie sticks, it’s still a good day.

Oh the bliss of innocence and the pride of an outrageously decorated box!

I remember the first time I got a “real” card for Valentine’s Day. I was in the fourth grade, Mr. Berthelson’s class, and Brian Miller, instead of putting the card on my desk like everyone else, waited until I was seated to hand it to me. With all the bravery of a little boy, proud of his special gift for a special girl, he looked me directly in the eyes and wished me a happy Valentine’s Day. I said thank you as any polite little girl would do, but inside I was not impressed.

Brian Miller creeped me out. I mean, I knew he was nice, but he was double-jointed, always making his fingers do weird things, and he loved turning his eyelids inside out. It was just too weird to think I was the object of his affections.

I much preferred Andrew Brick. And all he gave me was a Garbage Pail Kids sticker card.

Fourth grade taught me that it’s more about the giver than the gift.

As I got older, I will not lie, no shame here, I didn’t care about the giver so long as the gift was exceptional. (I’m laughing at my vanity; if you know me at all, you’re probably laughing too.)

I’m back to being in fourth grade. Today, my little guy came home with a bunch purple daisies, some a little wilted, beaming from head to toe. They’re sitting on my kitchen table, soaking up water in a vase, heralding the love of my son. I’ve seen him checking them out a few times today, proud of his gift, and I can’t help but be overcome with joy. I don’t care about the flowers, I care about my little man and his joy in generosity.

I bet that’s how Brian Miller felt. He’d given the gift, expressed his love, and that made him proud. Love expressed feels good, no matter the reciprocation. (Well, maybe when you’re in grade school, after that, one can’t be so sure.)

Anyway, for all you lovers out there, love like recess is just 5 minutes away; love in a grade school kind of way. Say it. Express it. Share it. Own it. Then walk proud.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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