Front Porch Stories: Remembering Valentine’s Day and the Classroom

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By Kathy Bohannon, Special to The Shopper

When I was a kid, Valentine’s Day was one of the “big” days I most looked forward to.

In the week before Valentine’s Day, our teachers would have us write down the names of our classmates. We were to use that list to make sure no one was left out on Valentine’s Day.

Mom would take me to Woolworth’s to peruse the many choices of boxed valentines. Some required the addition of lollipops that would fit just perfectly into slits on the card. My preferences varied from year to year, but one thing was steadfast; I always picked the box that had kittens, puppies or cupids, always with lacy pink and red hearts.

Mom would sit with me and help me create the box for school that would collect my valentines. It was always a shoebox, covered with crepe paper, stickers and ribbons and such. A rectangle cut in the top of the box allowed the valentines to be dropped in.

On the day of our valentine’s party, we would place our boxes on the countertops of our classroom and wait until time to deliver our greetings.

Oh, the anticipation.

Waiting for that exchange was grueling. All morning that big ugly black and white clock would barely tick away the time as I waited. At some point, the duly assigned “room mother” would show up with cupcakes and Kool-Aid, and my schoolmates and I were down for the count. There was no point in trying to teach us anything once those treats came in the room.

Finally, our teacher would allow us to deliver our valentines to the boxes. I would peer into mine to see them piling up, some in envelopes, some not. My new anticipation was to open that box and see what was inside. I could hardly bear waiting.

By the time I was in third grade, there was usually the hope of finding one from my latest crush. Would it be Lee, the one who teacher assigned to me during square dance? Or maybe I’d get a special one from Jay, who drew my name at Christmas and gave me the plastic lion bank, which in third grade is almost a promise ring.

The possibilities were endless.

That clock again. It barely clicked the hours off until the bell rang to go to our buses. My friends and I would rush out and secure a row of those slick seats and eagerly lift the lids from our boxes. Right away I would get caught up in the cute and funny valentines.  We would happily compare the ones from the boys we liked and try to determine any possibility of a future marriage proposal.

Though I kept my valentines for many years, somewhere along the way I tossed them for the more sophisticated trappings of teen life.

Silly as it seems, I would enjoy creating one of those boxes again, cut a slot in the top and anticipate the delivery of notes bearing friendship and love. I suppose, particularly on Valentine’s Day, you can take the girl out of her childhood but you can’t take the childhood out of the girl.

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Kathy Bohannon is a Christian humorist and inspirational speaker. She also blogs at kathybocreativelyblessed.wordpress.com. An avid paper crafter, she also enjoys sewing and needle arts. Kathy shares her love of crafting on Facebook and on YouTube at Kathy Bohannon Creatively Blessed. She and her husband John live in west Newnan.

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