Saturday, February 14, 2009

Be Mine

When I was in second grade all those years ago, I got it in my tiny head to create my own Valentine cards for my classmates who, might I remind you, were not necessarily my friends. I painstakingly cut out little pink hearts from construction paper for every girl in my classroom, repeating the procedure for the boys with blue.

On each tiny pink heart I penciled, “I love you.” On each blue I replaced the verb with “like.” Even then I knew about the difference and admonition of boy-to-boy love.

After recess, Mrs. Hardin allowed us to walk along the rows to deliver our Valentines in the brown lunch sacks taped to each desk. I made sure I had one colored, creased paper heart for everyone. I didn’t want anyone to feel left out.

During the party, while we enjoyed a reel-to-reel film and cookies with punch, I overheard some kids make fun of my homemade, heartfelt gesture. I knew it was silly; I knew everyone should appreciate my Valentines over any store-bought version.

At the end of the day, as I was leaving the classroom to be picked up by the mother who had encouraged me to be so vulnerable and sensitive, I saw several wadded up pieces of construction paper on the floor. And in the trash. Pink and blue pieces of trash that should I had had the strength to unfold I knew would reveal my carefully formed handwriting in pencil. But no strength made itself available to my own downcast, broken heart.

2 comments:

  1. Ugh, horrible, horrible kids!!

    :o(

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ms. Hardin? Interesting last name.

    ReplyDelete