Sibling Assignment #156: Hearts, Flowers, and Good Old-Fashioned Love

Sister Carol gave the sibling assignment this week which was timely for Valentine week-end. "Think back to celebrating Valentine's Day in elementary school, and share about any memory or memories you may have from one or more of those celebrations, and how it made you feel." Bill posted his here  and Carol here.Like brother Bill, I am going to "go my own way" a bit on this assignment.

Valentine's Day has always been my favorite holiday. When I was in school I loved taking time to pick out special valentines for each classmate on my list each year. I was enthralled with decorating my special valentine box or envelope that sat or hung on my desk. Teachers involved us in creative art projects that included doilies, hearts, and cupids. I found one at my mother's house this week-end, created in second grade.  We sang "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" in music and copied famous love poems in class.

When I  became a teacher I loved the holiday even more.  What was better than a room filled with pink and red art projects, silly love poems,  heart shaped cookies, conversation hearts, decorated envelopes, sappy valentines, and boxes of candy? That time around Valentine's Day was that time when students were so sweet to each other. It was a day everyone was included. Everyone wore smiles on their faces as they carefully read each Valentine. There were blushing faces, shy glances, and laughter. I did sentence writing activities with the goofy sayings on conversation hearts. We created homemade cards that students could take home to their mothers. Good feelings and kind thoughts were in the air.

Outside of school I even love Valentine's Day. When the stores fill with heart shaped boxes of candy I always love observing the older gentleman that carefully picks out the perfect box for his wife. Friday a man pushed his walker up to the card rack at the grocery store and read each card message carefully to find a special one for his wife. I couldn't help but wonder how many times he had done this. I also loved observing the innocent teenage boy shyly asking for help from the worker in the florist department as he attempted to pick the right rose, teddy bear, and balloon. As he exited ahead of me, he seemed to be walking on air.

The best part of Valentine's Day is the explosion of flowers everywhere. It doesn't matter if you walk into the finest florist shop or the gas station convenience store, flowers are everywhere. The colors, arrangements, and scents surround you with a reminder of kind words, a way to show love, and the message that spring is around the corner.
When I returned to my childhood home this week-end I told my own sweetheart not to worry about celebrating ourselves, We focused on Mom with all my favorite Valentine traditions. We carried in an arrangement of flowers, her favorite candy, and a valentine card signed and sealed in love. When family gathered there were more flowers, Red Velvet wine, strawberry dessert, and more valentines, Shelby and Annie even got special valentine treats. The house was brimming with good old-fashioned love and good will. My sister and mom were even dressed in valentine colors.

I can't wait until next year.

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