I went to St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic grade school, and every year, we had a homeroom Valentine party hosted by the sweet "room moms" that volunteered to bring treats and organize games. Aside from the parties, I have some distinct memories.
In first grade, I was in Mrs. Walsh's homeroom. Around Valentine's Day, my seat happened to be right in front of my mega crush, Matt. My last name and Matt's were right next to each other in alphabetical order, so we were often paired together. He was so sweet, smart, and funny, and I thought he was the cutest. In addition to whatever valentines I had made with my mom for all of my classmates, I had created a special construction paper heart valentine for Matt. As everyone was handing out their valentines, I mustered up my courage to deliver Matt my special pink creation. He was talking to his guy friends, so I was a little nervous, but I bravely interrupted their conversation, and I handed him my valentine. "Matt, will you be my valentine?" It took him all but two seconds to give me an embarrassed laugh and said, "Uh, no!" He just wasn't that into me. Bummer. My little first grade heart was broken, and I remember telling his big sister all about my heartbreak after school while we waited for our rides. I told that story to Matt's wife at a bachelorette party, but I can't remember if I ever told him. If you're reading this, Matt (and I doubt you are), you were such a heartbreaker back in first grade! I clearly still have issues from it. Ha!
In second grade, Mrs. Ryktarsyk's homeroom (yeah, I had to spell that name as a second grader) had a Valentine box decorating contest. Some of the creations were huge and so impressive! I wish I had pictures of them.
In fifth grade, I decided to create a little mischievous entertainment. I thought it would be a good idea to stick a "Be Mine" conversation heart in my classmate Nick's uniform sweater pocket. He had it hanging on the back of his chair, and I put it in the pocket when he wasn't looking. I had completely forgotten about it until later that afternoon when he put his hand in his pocket, pulled out the heart, read it, and it became the hot topic in 5B for the rest of the school day. Who could have put a "Be Mine" candy heart into Nick's pocket? I was so thrilled with myself for creating the mystery and intrigue! I probably had a crush on him at the time because I was beyond boy crazy.
At home, Mom and Dad put out a card and a present for each child at our seats at the kitchen table. It was always so exciting to wake up to those special treats! In 7th grade, our dog, Trev (named after Nebraska Cornhusker #34 Trev Alberts), got into the special treats overnight. At that point, only 3 of the 6 kids were living at home. Trev had jumped up onto the kitchen table, unwrapped the red cellophane wrap on all THREE of the Russell Stover boxes of chocolates, and ate every single one. He politely left all of the wrappers behind. The 12-pound Bichón Frisé was lucky he didn't die from it, but we had to have the carpets professionally cleaned. My mom likes to tell the story of how my dad woke her up that morning when he was leaving for work. "Honey, Happy Valentine's Day. THE DAMN DOG ate all of the kids' chocolate and puked all over the house! Gotta run. I love you."
What about you? What memories do you have from your childhood Valentine's Days?