Thoughts on Valentine’s Day

8 Feb

Jade came home from daycare with a note in her lunchbox this week.  It was a list of names of all the toddlers at the daycare, her “classmates”, if you will.  The list was entitled “Valentine List for Upstairs Toddlers”.

When Jade was in the baby room last year, she got about half a dozen Valentine’s cards to take home with her.  They had been filled out by the daycare staff on behalf of all the kids, and it was a fun if somewhat superfluous gesture.  I must say, though, that I hadn’t given a moment’s thought to Valentine’s cards for this year.  I guess I didn’t think I’d have to worry about doing Valentine’s cards for Jade until she started school.

I’ve gotta say, from the vantage point of an adult, I have a somewhat jaded view of children’s Valentine’s card.  It seems like a waste of a lot of paper and a lot of insincere sentiment.  In the “old days”, kids just gave cards to the other kids they really liked (poor Charlie Brown), and often a lot of time and energy was spent picking out the right card or hand-crafting them.  Of course, it all gave rise to some justifiable concern over Valentine’s Day being a popularity contests and damaging to some kids’ self-esteem. 

By the time I was giving out Valentine’s cards in elementary school, it was understood that you gave a card to everyone in your class.  So you just had to make sure you didn’t pick anything too sappy to give to the kid you didn’t really like that much.  I remember how much time and energy it took to fill out all those Valentines, a chore I didn’t particularly appreciate.  On the other hand, I do remember how fun it was to read all the different cards I’d received, to see what “extras” some special someone might have written on their card, the excitement of the disruption from the regular school routine, and the joy of pondering endlessly whether that little boy I liked meant something special by the card he had chosen.  ‘Cause that’s what girls do.  Okay, maybe it was just me.  And I guess I should say boyS, since I’m the girl of perpetual crushes.

Anyway…

It was fun.  But how much can it really mean to a bunch of two-year-olds?

I know some people don’t like the idea of Valentine’s Day at all.  I don’t mind it, really.  I think we can rise above the capitalist brouhaha and take it as a gentle reminder to count our blessings and appreciate those we love.  You might argue that we should do this every day, but sadly most people don’t have the energy to be that thankful all the time.  Life happens, you know?  For me and Michael, Valentine’s is a bit of an anniversary, marking our first date and our first kiss (which was completely his fault, the schemer) so Michael is always in charge of cooking us a fancy dinner that day.

So I don’t mind Jade growing up with Valentine’s Day being a fun day for celebrating friendships.  I just wish she were old enough to fill out her own damned cards.

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3 Responses to “Thoughts on Valentine’s Day”

  1. Meandering Michael February 8, 2008 at 4:45 pm #

    Get the REAL scoop on Michael and Fawn’s first “date” and kiss here…
    http://michaelpealow.blogspot.com/2008/02/first-kiss-controversy-setting-record.html

  2. shannon February 15, 2008 at 7:27 pm #

    i remember one year i accidentally gave a romantic card to some guy in class that i barely knew (like you said, you had to give one to everyone) and the whole class made a huge deal out of it like i was in love with the guy… i’m thinking it must have been grade 3… hmmm… don’t know why i’m telling you this. i just hadn’t thought of it in like 20+ years. 🙂

  3. MommyTime February 15, 2008 at 9:15 pm #

    Yes, I totally get this. I had to come up with 32 valentines for my son’s class (age 4) and 36 for daughter (age 2). Really, how much do the 2 year olds care? -sigh- At least I didn’t have to put names on them, since that would make it too difficult for the teachers to sort them into bags. One can say thanks for small favors. 🙂

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