This is the month of love. By the time you read this, Valentine’s Day will have come and gone. For some it is a wonderful time, and for others, it can be a lonely time. So, as I am writing this, I thought about all the Valentine’s Day school events we had when we were much younger.
I always loved making the boxes or envelopes that were displayed in our classroom where our Valentine’s would be placed by our classmates. It was a competition to see who could get the most stuff on those boxes. The boys’ boxes could easily be distinguished from the girls’. Most just drew the requisite heart with crayon and let it go. The girls’ boxes had glitter and everything imaginable glued to them.
When the day came that the cards would be placed, we all had that secret third-grade love for whom we painstakingly selected a card to place in his box. But everyone swapped cards. I will always remember the pain on the boys’ faces as they distributed their cards (that their mothers made them do) and tried to hide the fact that they were giving any to a girl.
The girls, on the other hand, watched to see if the boy they liked put one in their box. Oh, the thrill of it all! And when the tiny little white envelope was opened, the card was signed by the mom or scribbled by the boy, rendering it illegible. How funny. These were cherished cards, nevertheless. We hid those away in the drawers in our rooms, where they stayed for months, only to be taken out and re-read many times.
It’s funny what cherished tokens we accumulate during our lifetime. I have very special notes from my sons and grandchildren, including hand-drawn portraits of me and notes written in their very first handwriting. When one of them discovers my treasures, they always say, “I can’t believe you kept this!” Are you kidding? Those are priceless—little tokens that mean you were thought of in a special way.
I still have one card from my grandmother, who wrote inside, “How proud I am of you,” and that just makes my day. I keep it in a little chest on my desk. We all like to be remembered. I have sticky notes from kids and pictures in their finest Crayola coloring work, and pressed flowers from special moments. These remind me of my blessings and the special moments when they shared cherished tokens with me.
Why don’t we do that more as adults? I think of it, and then something distracts me. How fun it would be to send a sticky note to a friend or family member that says, “Thinking of you,” or put a piece of ribbon in an envelope and mail it to be used as a bookmark. It’s the little tokens that touch our hearts. I plan on doing a better job of sharing tokens of love and hope that in years to come, they will mean something to the recipient.