"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Nobody loves Valentine's day like Christian. Nobody. Despite his rough exterior and daring personality, he's got a heart of gold. For as long as I can remember, he has taken Valentine gifts to not just one girl, but all of the girls he has interest in. There have been years with bags full of chocolates, bouquets of flowers divided into individual stems singly wrapped to give, and cards for all of his female friends so that no one ever feels left out. He fearlessly spreads good cheer to even the meekest of wallflowers and this year has been no different.

School chums will chide that he should focus on just one and teasing ensues over his multitude of interests. But as parents, we say youth is a time to keep your options open and learn about all sorts of personality types and traits. A gentleman makes every girl feel special and when the time comes, can easily narrow down to what is best for him. And it's so fun to watch the girls fight over him, because they know exactly what kind of guy he is -- respectful, good, and kind. It's also entertaining to hear him expound upon the "redonkularity", as he puts it, of the elementary school relationship factor. As eleven-year-old girls trick eleven-year-old boys into "going together" we have a good laugh about how far one can "go" with no driver's license in sight.

In our house, the Valentine fairy visits on V-day, leaving a little something special on the porch for each child in the dark of the evening hours. It adds to the fun of the day and lets them know that in our home, they are loved. The excitement is contagious as the doorbell rings and feet run to see what mystery awaits. Last year in Christian's class, his school teacher introduced a writing prompt about a favorite holiday. In pre-writing discussion, she asked the students to tell some of their favorite holidays. Some said Christmas and some Halloween, but Christian unable to contain himself, shouted out "Valentine's day!" The teacher turned to him and asked his reasons why and he flowed with excitement. "I like the cards, and I like the giving and I like the candy, and I love the Valentine Fairy". Yes, this was fourth grade -- a time to know better -- but on he gushed. The kids around him tittered incredulously "The Valentine Fairy???"

"Yes, you know the Valentine Fairy?!" he rushed on unable to stop himself, "She comes in the evening bearing gifts of chocolaty goodness and heart shaped pencils!" He quickly looked around questioningly at the blank faces around him. "You know the Valentine Fairy!" his voice strained. Kids around him began to snicker and chortle as the teacher calmly called the class back to order. "That sounds like a very nice tradition that your family has." she replied with kindness. And in that moment, Christian tells us, a light bulb turn on and the ugly thought occurred to him that perhaps there was no real Valentine Fairy ... and maybe ... just maybe ... he should rethink the giant pink rabbit that brings baskets on Easter as well.

Ah, almost as good as the time his father convinced him that for career day he would make an excellent weapons trafficker and Christian obliviously shared that with the class as well. But that's another story. Sure love that redonkulous kid!

We won't soon forget this year's biggest Valentine Box known to man, fully equipped with speakers and mood music.

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