Tonight I attended an online Narrative Writing night. First time. There were three writing prompts. The overall theme was Relational Mindfulness related to Valentines Day.
Which kid didn't get any Valentines today?
This kid, if you can call a 67 year old woman a kid.
And that's okay with me.
I remember getting Valentines in elementary school.
The rule was you had to bring one in for every kid in the class.
So I got a lot of Valentines
And just a few I cared about.
St. Valentines Day, what does it really have to do with love?
What does it have to do with the kind of love I need and want at this time in my life?
What does it have to do with the kind of love I needed and wanted throughout my life.
Yeah I gave my husband a Valentine and some kind of gift every year. It felt romantic. Maybe it was.
And he gave me a Valentine's Day card and maybe a small gift.
I guess that was romantic.
Now this kid doesn't need to receive or give Valentines.
Neither do my kids.
We're all single.
And mostly happy.
We love ourselves,
we love each other,
and we have friends we love deeply
and couldn't live without.
True, unmitigated, do anything for you, love.
The kind of love where we might send a text, give a gift, just because.
Not a Hallmark card.
Not a red box of generic chocolates.
Not Hershey's kisses.
Not those little crunchy sugar hearts.
No, we give gifts from our hearts,
and the receiver knows it.
We're not kids anymore.
We know what love means to us.
What did the teacher say to this child?
Does this kind of crap still happen in school?
Do they still give Valentines?
Do kids get to pick and choose who to give them to?
If so, I don't want to be in that school as a kid or teacher.
I wouldn't mind being there as an administrator,
so I could tell that teacher to grow up and stop using holidays to traumatize kids.
For real, if this does happen,
What the hell is the teacher supposed to say?
Oh, don't worry about it
Yeah, right, as the child holds back tears and maybe thoughts of revenge,
that isn't go to help much.
It must have been a mistake, an oversight,
Um, I may be a kid but obviously I am smarter than my teacher,
because I know you're lying.
It was intentional.
You know it and I know it.
Maybe the teacher could say,
Valentines Day is one of those holidays that
companies have taken over and made into something bigger than it should be.
The original intent was to show love.
Love can be shown in many ways.
Not everyone realizes that.
I'm sorry you were left out and hurt by another child's actions.
That is wrong and I need to work harder at teaching lessons about
holidays, love, compassion, and respectfulness.
Please help me do better.
Or maybe the teacher will ask that touchy feely question my kids hated:
How does that make you feel?
If you really wanted to know,
you probably wouldn't ask
because you know how emotional the answer could get
and unless you have special training,
poking at my wound is not going to help me.
And now it is time to weave these two pieces together.
As a kid, I always received the right number of Valentines
that some kids got more special ones than I did.
I never asked the teacher about it.
I didn't want to show it hurt.
I didn't want to let anyone know I was vulnerable.
I didn't care what a teacher would say,
I didn't want to hear a lame excuse or explanation.
I just wanted to disappear,
or take some form of revenge.
But I knew I couldn't disappear,
and I knew I wasn't mean enough to get anyone back.
Now I look back and see how maybe
those Valentines Day experiences
might have shaped my views on love and life.
It's a good thing I don't care about Valentines Day,
Not caring helps me save money and time.
But I do care about love,
giving and receiving.
And I don't need a holiday or a teacher to help me with that.
Am I bitter?
In fact, these days I feel kind of sweet.
© 2023 Sue Schnitzer