On the way home from school yesterday, after the obligatory exchange of Valentine's and "healthy" snacks in their individual 5th grade classes, my daughter and her friend quickly began to assess their Valentine cornucopia with much excitement and vigor in the back seat of our truck. Who gave what to whom and why was a big topic of conservation between the two of them. Did any particular Valentine from any specific boy have special "meaning"? How were they signed, neatly? Quickly? Were the cards homemade? Expensive? What kind of treats were given? All could be signals that some cute boy might like you.
The night before these festivities, my daughter had painstakingly chosen and addressed each one of her Valentine's with great care. Reserving the more special ones for kids, more specifically boys, that she liked.
I had no idea it was so complicated.
My son, who is now in high school, never cared about such things. In fact, when he was in elementary school, I had to do his Valentines every year, and force him to sign them. After the parties were over, he would immediately take the candy off any obvious girl card, you know the one's with a barbie or Disney princess on them, and throw the card away, or worse....rip it up in front of them at school. Ugh. Great.
What had I done to raise such a monster? tsk. tsk.
The same thing happened to me in second grade. I was, of course totally in love with a boy in my class, Jeff Rich was his name. Ah, he could sing like an angel and I got much exercise trying to catch him during recess kiss tag. I'd made a special Valentine just for him. The nervousness, the unbridled excitement that filled me when I finally had enough courage to hand it to him was almost overwhelming, and what did he do? He ripped it up in front of me.
Sometimes a heart can be torn as easily as paper. Crushed. Traumatized. Depressed. That's probably why I still remember it.
Was this boy a monster too? Or are boys just different than girls in regards to love and expressions of it?
Who knows, but as I see the differences in my children, and I look at my husband, and the fact that he will probably forget to get me a Valentine's card, I will try to remember that the sexes are different.
Do we females expect too much?