Valentine's Day is Not What It Used to Be
I distinctly remember Valentine's Day of my third grade year. I went around the classroom placing my little cards into my friends’ boxes on their desks, then scurried back to my desk, anxious to open the cards inside my own doily covered tissue box. As I ripped open each envelope to find another Care Bear or Strawberry Shortcake card, I scanned the bottom looking for one name: Ryan.
When I finally found the card from Ryan, my heart nearly stopped as I read the words across the top.
Of all of the cards he could have given to me, he wrote my name, Amy, on the envelope of the Be Mine card. It didn't say "Friends are Fun!" or "You're the best." It said BE MINE.
I held tightly to my little valentine from the cutest boy in the class as my friends began to float from desk to desk comparing what they had received. Did we all have the same number of cards? Did anyone have a special note on their valentine? How about candy? And that's when I heard Ryan say the words that can break an eight year old's heart. Through his silly laugh he said, "I made my sister write all of my valentine's for me."
These days there is no careful selection of cards depending on who is a child's best friend, good friend, best BEST friend, or even who is the cutest boy in the third grade. Both of my children choose their favorite character cards, usually Disney related, and sign each one with just their name. Then, with no recipient names on the envelopes, they are taken into school to be distributed one to each child. While I'm happy that my kids aren't left to wonder why one card says, "Have a good day" and another says "You rock my socks!" it is a little sad to think that the first Ryan in my daughter's life can't specially choose "Be Mine"....even if it is his sister writing her name on the envelope.
And whatever happened to Ryan?
He's happily married to a nice girl from town who was likely in good with his sister, and I've got a valentine of my own. Thankfully, he never forgets to carefully choose a special card for me - no help needed - and I'm happier more and more each year to Be His.
Happy Valentine's Day!