We started making our boxes about a week before the 14th. Covering former shoe boxes with pink and red hearts. Tin foil to add texture and shape. Folding strips of paper to make springs so the hearts would jump (almost) from the box. Anything to make our Valentine mail boxes stand out. Get noticed. Cutting a hole in the cover — awaiting our special deliveries. It was Valentine’s Day at Washington Elementary. And we did everything we could to encourage the love.
Our mothers bought us packets of premade Valentines to give to the class, but we made hearts with our hands to give to those we truly loved. We were supposed to give a Valentine to each classmate. I’d like to think we did, but I don’t think so. Even with the purest hearts of youth, it’s hard to get everything right.
I’m still working on my Valentine carrier — my heart — I suppose we need to, every day. No longer to get noticed, but just to be open, to receive. And with my chubby, unsure fingers, I cut and paste and create, in my own imperfect way, and give to the one I love. I fold these words, to spring from my heart – Happy Valentine’s Day!