Happy Valentineâ€™s Day everyone!
Iâ€™ll admit, Iâ€™ve never been a big fan of this Hallmark holiday. I donâ€™t really have a good reason why – especially since Iâ€™m such a huge fan of the assorted chocolates associated with it. Maybe itâ€™s because thereâ€™s just so much pressure involved on what weâ€™re â€œsupposedâ€ to do.
I do remember looking forward to Valentineâ€™s Day as a kid. Weâ€™d all make shoebox mailboxes covered in red, pink and white construction paper. Elmerâ€™s Glue would coat our little hands as we finished cutting out folded hearts in contrasting colors and lined them with lace borders. After recess weâ€™d all file back into the classroom – each personalized shoebox sitting atop our assigned desks, eagerly awaiting candy donations and cartoon greetings. You werenâ€™t allowed to pick and choose your valentines; everybody got one.
So all 32 kids in Mrs. Kaplanâ€™s third grade class were my sweethearts. By the end of the day, my box would be tearing at the seams – laden with Sweethearts, cherry lollipops and individually wrapped chocolates. Iâ€™d rocket out to the playground high on sugar from what Iâ€™d already devoured of my bounty and the cupcakes someoneâ€™s mother was sure to have brought to celebrate the day.
I havenâ€™t really celebrated it since I moved on from the decorative footwear receptacles of elementary education. Here and there my parents would get my brother and me a little something. Once I moved away to college, my grandmother would unfailingly send me a box of Seeâ€™s Candy. (Oh, how I love Mary Seeâ€¦) Jon and I have never done anything to mark it as special.
One year Jon moseyed into work on a February 14 morning. â€œWhatâ€™re you doing for your girlfriend today?â€ inquired a colleague (we werenâ€™t married yet, so the girlfriend referred to is me). Jon casually replied that he had no plans based on my ambivalence. A horror-filled tension immediately filled the air. Didnâ€™t he know girls were lying when they said they didnâ€™t care about Valentineâ€™s Day? Everyone returned to work the following day with a sadistic curiosity about how far Jon had fallen. I actually think there was some disappointment that the only result was a bit of chuckling over their concern.
I approached the holiday this year much in the same fashion as the decades previous. But then the muppets got their very first Valentine. It was a red bumble bee from two of their little friends. Cards from G.G. soon followed. I was so excited to see that sheâ€™d found not one, but TWO, great-grandson cards.
Getting more and more into the spirit, the muppets and I gathered up our gear and headed off to the NICU. Search and Destroy both gave me extremely wary looks – neither seemed to think purposely and willingly re-entering that locale was a very good idea. Search presented Nurse June with a cliched heart-shaped box of chocolates. Destroy clutched one for Nurse Susan (sorry if itâ€™s a little chewed on.)
â€œThank you for helping me get big and strong so we could go home. Will you be my Valentine?â€ We also sent our good vibes and healthy chubby baby thoughts to all the current NICU residents, that they may be home asking for Irish kisses next month.
Happy Valentineâ€™s Day to you and all your loved ones. My cherubic chubby little muppets send you kisses.