MOM TO MOM
The Whole Valentine Thing…
Valentines have been a bit of a thorn in my side since I was in the second grade at Annunciation School in Paramus. Why you may ask? Well here’s how the story goes. Valentine’s Day was always a doubly exciting day in my childhood because we got to celebrate in school and it was also my younger sister Carla’s birthday, so we’d have a party at home too. I remember that Feb. 14, 1966 when I was packing up my books, putting on my coat, grabbing my Barbie lunch box and collecting all of the Valentines I’d received that day. The nuns made us march in a row up the side stairs outside the school to the buses and I was clutching my cards in my hand so that I could admire them along the way. A boy behind me was fooling around and knocked me forward so that my face hit the step and I cracked my two front teeth. I didn’t try to break my fall because I didn’t want to lose my cards. Kids! There was blood everywhere and I was crying and there was a flurry of attention. The next thing I remember, I was home in bed, my Valentines destroyed, and I was not able to attend the party because I was too beaten up and it was dangerous for my teeth. You can only imagine how much “fun” I had with my dentist the next weeks that passed until my teeth were shaved and capped properly. It would be a gross understatement to say that a little of the holiday’s luster was lost on me that year. When my triplets were in kindergarten and it came time for Valentine’s Day, I remembered my own experience with the cards and had a bit of a chuckle. My girls were so excited about writing the cards and attaching candy and giving them out in school. Rules had changed about that and everybody had to give cards to every member of the class – they couldn’t be selective and leave a kid out. It may have defeated the whole purpose of a Valentine, but it was a much kinder and more inclusive approach.
My daughters’ first Valentine’s Day came and went without any fanfare, so I figured whatever black cloud I had once been under so many years ago had not transferred to them. Or maybe it’s just that kids carry backpacks on their shoulders now and know to keep their hands free. Whatever the reason, it sure was fun greeting the girls after school and seeing their faces shine with delight at their treasures.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
48 FEBRUARY/MARCH 2017 (201) FAMILY