When I was a little girl, I loved February: Valentine’s Day is in February. So was my birthday; that’s a story for another day.
My whole class got ready for Valentine’s Day for weeks. Everyone brought a shoebox to school, and we decorated it with crêpe paper flowers and hearts. I had lots of shoe-boxes to pick from on account of everyone getting new hard sole shoes at Baldy’s shoe store way back in September, special for school starting.
Art stuff was hard for me. I got paste all stuck in my hair and all over my clothes. I liked to taste paste, too. The smell got all up in my nose and begged my fingers to put some in my mouth. Yummy. Teacher said it was no good and would make me sick, but it never did. Not even a little bit.
Mom brought home little store-bought cards in big bags from the grocery store, and I printed MY name on the back. Then I got to choose which card went to each student in my class. I had two Bettys in my class and two Lindas. I’ve heard about kids being sore or sad that they didn’t receive a card on Valentine’s Day. I gave a card to everyone, and I got one from everyone, too. That’s just mean to leave someone out. Who got which card was the tricky part. I wanted to make sure I express my love for that certain someone in just the right way. Should Frankie’s say “Be Mine” or “Forever Yours”? And what if Frankie’s to me just said, “Friends”? What if he gave me the ‘teacher’ card that came in every box? That would be the worst ’cause that meant he never even thought about which card he gave me.
I almost flunked out of Kindergarten ’cause I went haywire on my writing. Valentine’s Day saved me. All year, up until I had to get my cards ready for the party, I wrote my name wrong. Mom talked about my printing to everyone who would listen: all my aunts, Grandma Z, and even Betty’s and Nancy’s moms.
I looked at my name, clear as day, just the way it was supposed to be. What in the world was she talking about? I wrote just like everybody else.
Mom said I had to get my name right or I might not go to First Grade. She never said that to me; I just heard Continue reading