I got a heads-up before I walked into the kindergarten room, where the valentines were already being gingerly placed into classmates boxes. She said, “I don’t know how you’ll react, but my daughter really likes your son, and she made a special valentine for him. She sat for a long time, trying to figure out what it should say.”
I laughed, and told her it was sweet, and that I thought my son would happy to have her card.
After moving through the halls at school, with toddler Batman in tow (everyday is Halloween), trying to spend “equal time” in each son’s room, we carried what was left of their cardboard valentine boxes, valentines and candy wrappers home.
Later, he innocently showed me the “big valentine” she made. What does it say, he asked? Well, it starts with “XOXOXO” — do you know what that means? No, he said.
I said, it means, kiss hug kiss hug kiss hug. He looked away, and put his head down, hiding his smile. When he had recovered himself, I continued:
“You are sweet like candy
Thinking of you
on Valentine’s Day
His eyes turned red, as if they burned, and he started to rub them. I remembered the time when we came to the sad part of the Wizard of Oz, and he said, “Why are my eyes wet?”
I said, “You know what?”
“She’s one of the smartest kids in your class. Do you know how I know that?”
“No,” he said.
“Because she knows what I know…. you are sweet like candy.”