Thursday, February 14, 2013

Young Hearts

Kids these days--at least my kids--spend a lot of time thinking about Valentines, meaning a person they can call their Valentine.  In my school days there was never much pressure to find a person to be one's Valentine.  Crushes were publicized throughout the school year, and on February 14 we just passed around cards and candy to our classmates and enjoyed the haul.  I do remember in seventh grade having a boy that gave me a pretty necklace, and all I felt was guilty because I didn't even really "like" him like that.

#3, my fifth grader, experienced a little of that same guilt this Valentine's Day when she found a gift with a note left secretly in her back pack.  The note was from a boy in her class and read, "Dear [#3], I think you're cool.  From, [said boy]."  It came with a small, heart-shaped box of chocolates.  Of course, #3 was surprised and flattered, but she was grateful that the boy had not outright asked her to be his Valentine, because she would have had to turn him down and then live with the guilt of eating the chocolates from a boy whom she didn't "like" like that.  As it was, I reminded her how much courage it takes for a boy to put himself out there, and she thanked him at school the next day and said his gift had made her day.

#1, in ninth grade, is learning how nice life is without all the confusion of crushes.  Her friends at her old school are in the midst of drama as the boys seek for loyalty from their bros while also trying to follow their hearts after emotional girls.  The rumors and texts have been flying!  Fortunately, #1, being somewhat removed by attending a different school this year, can see the ridiculousness from her outside observance.  I intercepted one text in which she explained to a friend at her old school that "The fools get caught up in it while they should just be laughing at the silliness."  Of course, that's not to say she doesn't have a crush.  In high school, though, I guess you don't ask someone to be your Valentine for the day, so no gifts were exchanged except for the white "friend" carnation she received from her little sister through the school's flower fund raiser.

Speaking of #2, this Valentine's Day was pretty uneventful for her.  Before I know it, though, she'll be 16 and asking a boy to the Sweetheart's Dance.  That's still four years away, which might be enough time for said boy to learn to keep up with her on the dance floor.  Check out her samba at the Provo High School Dancesport Competition last month.  She and her dance partner placed first in their division after three rounds of eliminations!

#4, in third grade, is too young to care about being someone's Valentine.  That, or she is just patiently waiting for her crush to come around and realize what a great girl she is.  (She takes after her mother.)  The highlight of her Valentine's Day was the "Alice in Wonderland" party that the third grade celebrated after finishing the book recently.  Everyone dressed up as a character, the prevalent costume being Alice.  #4 and her friends giggled every time I referred to them collectively as Alice all the way home from school.

#5, apparently is not too young to care about having a Valentine.  Fortunately, he's young enough to not be embarrassed by his mom shaking her booty for The Chicken Dance.  Yes, I was the lucky girl who got every dance with him at his first-grade party.  I taught him dance position during a waltz, and once I let him know that the boy was supposed to do the leading, he was dragging me all over the dance floor!  While at the school, I also discovered his recent love interest: the new vending machine.  When he wasn't tearing up the dance floor or counteracting the sugary treats with vegetables from the deli tray (he claims cherry tomatoes pulled him out of sugar shock), he was ogling over the mechanics of the vending machine and figuring out exactly how it works.  That's not to say he doesn't have love in his life.  While packing his Valentine cards for school in the morning, he realized he had some extras and cooly asked if he could take one to "E", his best girl friend who lives in our neighborhood.  He added, "I've given her a Valentine every year, and it would make her feel bad if I didn't bring her one this year."  Of course I said it was fine, and after school I found a store-bought, school-type card attached to a handwritten note.  I am kicking myself for not reading the note right then, because he walked it over while I was gone later that afternoon.  #2's account of the story is that #5 left to deliver the Valentine card and returned home crying!  He had big tears rolling down his cheeks.  Concerned, #2 asked what was wrong.  "Oh, I'm not sad," he replied.  "These are tears of happiness because [E] said she would be my Valentine again!"

Aww, young hearts in love!

1 comment:

Snow said...

What a fantastic commentary on love. I could relate to every story from some time in my younger life. Boy can #2 dance. She deserved 1st place.

Thank you for the reminder that we need to hold moments of life tenderly in our hands and not drop them. You have such a gift of watching the wings uncurl and flap open and closed, with the idea of flight in the near future. Your children will soar!!!