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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

I remember Valentine's Day in grade school.  You could go to a drug store or a five and dime and buy a box full of one-side die-cut valentines.  Some of them were pretty cute:

I remember we'd count how many we got (of course, nice people gave everyone a valentine, even if they thought the recipient was an idiot.  I remember once, very daring, I gave my teacher a card with a rooster that said 'Don't be a Dumb Cluck - Be my Valentine!'  There was no fallout from that.

One year the boys gave out insulting valentines.  Or I thought so at the time.  Now I feel honored to have received one, since only the prettiest girls (those reported as such) got one. 

I love your smile
I love your gait
I love your style -
It's you I hate!!!

I wish I'd kept mine.

Well, time passes and people move on or they leave our lives one way or another.  There are several people I wish I'd given valentines to, or told them one way or another how much they'd meant to me. 

Maybe we lack the courage of one little boy in the summer of 1976.  I was working at a summer camp as one of the counselors.  I also did a stint in the office there.  I was a junior at the University, and I liked the children.

On the last day of one of the camp periods (they ran two weeks) one fellow came in to see me.  I'd seen him here and there.  He was about seven years old, sturdy-built with spiky light hair and a smiling face.

He came into the camp office and went up to me. 
"I"m leaving now," he said.  "I...I just wanted to..."  he stopped and took a long breath.  "I just wanted to tell you that I really like you, and I'll miss you!"  And he left.

Hm.  I bet he grew up to be quite a wonderful fellow.  He was most of the way there that summer, if he could express himself so well to me.  I wish him well.

And to the rest of you, here's my valentine.  I hope you enjoy it.  The fellow in the center rejoices in the very apt name 'Angel':

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