As a child in elementary school Valentines was a big deal. We decorated shoe boxes with red and pink hearts and lots of paper Lacey doilies. We carefully shopped for books of Valentines to cut out and give to our classmates. Picking each one that would be the right one for each friend. We also spent hours making Valentines for special friends and family. The ‘Children’s Friend’ magazine would sometimes have Valentines to share with parents and family.
Red and pink construction paper could be in short supply around that time of year and so supplies needed to be procured early. Advanced planning was important.
Growing up surrounded by cousins and family Valentines needed to be ready for each cousin. Planning how to get the desired card to the desired recipient also took planning and strategy. Place the card on the door step, ring the bell or knock and run and hid as fast as you can before the door opens and your caught.
As the recipient trying to get to the door and catch someone was always fun. It was a game. It was exciting. Being outside in the dark and cold. Whispering and trying not to laugh too loud.
One memorable Valentines we heard a knock at the door, rushed to catch the perpetrator. All that was found was a large white box.
A treasure. Everyone gathered around.
“Hurry, open it”
“Who is it from?”
Lid is off.
Just a piece of paper saying every word had to be read before going any further.
We started to read and as we picked up the first page another page was attached to it, like an accordion. It was a poem about Valentines Day, it was funny and we laughed as we read. After several pages a piece of cardboard and when we lifted it up the treat was revealed.
The box was full of candy and treats.
We never really knew for sure who sent the box but we all knew it was most likely from our Father. He was the one who wrote poetry and he was the one who was creative and full of surprises.
My regret is that no one saved that poem. I have a little book with my Dad’s poems but that one is not there. All I have are the memories and as everyone knows memories are not always reliable.