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If you teach, parent, or ever went to school, you should appreciate what an event Valentine’s Day is in schools. It’s that one day where we see red when we’re not angry. Where kids exchange cards, and there is so much sugar that it would make Milton Hershey cry.

From the standpoint of a high school teacher, I love Valentine’s Day, because it’s the one day where I get to set the biggest, baddest, toughest guys in the school walk in with giant big pink teddy bears, balloons, and flowers for their girls. I try to follow them to call attention to the situation.

I always shout out, “Hey, AWESOME pink bear? Who’s it for?” Just a small payback for the class or two you disturbed, kid.

From the elementary standpoint, Valentine’s Day is fun. Everyone gets a card from everyone, even the kids they don’t like. That’s cool. It shows us that we have to be kind, even if we are learning not to like people. I forgot about the day completely, to tell the truth, until Declan said, “Mommy, tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day.” So yesterday I drove out to the drug store and picked out the cards–one of the last two boxes left–and Declan and I sat together, spelling out everyone’s name in the class. He picked out just the right card for each friend, disobeying the class list. “Mommy,” he said, “I don’t have to do it in order.” He did it in order of the friends he liked best. Even in kindergarten, there’s a pecking order.

I never liked Valentine’s Day when I was in high school–maybe because I was a nerd who never had a boyfriend. I took a stuffed bear to the semi. Wish I could find that photo just now, I’d insert it. I didn’t get any flowers or candy, and it’s not like you can walk around with the card your mom gave you or anything. You’ll just get locked in a gym locker. It didn’t make sense to get all mopey about it and dress in black or anything. I celebrated with my friend. We always had cards and tons of candy and made it a big deal holiday. Since that time, it became a holiday I thought of less as a Hallmark Mushy Lovefest, and more of the holiday where I take special time to think about the friends with whom I have been blessed–this has been a good year for friends–the ones I’ve kept, the ones with whom I’ve reunited, and the ones who are new, and no doubt will someday be old friends, too, and the new friends I’ve met through this endeavor.  Friends, I know, are the highest order blessing which we are given. I hope you all have a Happy Valentine’s Day.

Tonight, I get to relax. Declan has advised me there is no need to cook dinner, “Mommy, everyone knows special Valentine’s Day dinner is candy. That’s what you eat on Valentine’s Day.” Looks like the holiday has gotten to him, too.


[image:–awesome photo:) ]