So I arrived back in Wisconsin today expecting a cascade of squeals and giggles from my nieces at my surprise Valentine’s Day arrival. Well…while there was genuine surprise for approximately two seconds, it quickly shifted into my 9-year-old niece CeCe stating, “I got a basket today.” She had just returned from a cutthroat basketball game and, clearly, *this* was the big news of the day (especially considering that she will never be the female equivalent of Michael Jordan due to her diminutive stature). Aunt Dee Dee’s presence in Madison on Valentine’s Day was more of a given rather than a joy-inducing exception. I’m not sure if I should be comforted or deflated.
Since my nieces are in elementary school they share Valentine’s cards with all of their classmates. Required expressions of affection that occur every February 14th, I guess. Yet, I find something really lovely in the idea of being asked to recognize your friends and peers on this particular day. What’s wrong with sharing a sentiment that might give someone that daily affirmation we all need from time to time…or 24/7? CeCe’s third-grade class wrote out anonymous notes on a Valentine for each person in the class; the notes were to be positive statements about the recipient.
So in lieu of some new film reviews (which I will torture you with eventually), I thought I’d share some of the youthful insights offered up on CeCe’s pink, heart-shaped card. (Please keep in mind that I am translating these verbatim. All cases of “your” instead of “you’re” are *not* my doing!)
Of course, her teacher kicked things off as the articulate cheerleader (the precise cursive handwriting was a dead giveaway that an adult wrote it):
You are beautiful inside and out. You are smart, caring, and kind. You are always cheerful and you add sunshine to our class.
As I delved into the less-neatly-written sentiments, it became apparent that my niece is a laugh riot:
You have a good sense of humor.
You make me laugh.
You make me laugh very hard.
Your very, very, very funny.
What you say is funny.
And there was the lone nod to her fashion sense:
I like your outfits.
Not to mention the sole note that reflected an unrequited affection:
We should hang out more.
And then there were the sentiments that did cause that warm, fuzzy, heart-melty feeling when I read them:
I like the way you help me with everything.
I always look forward to seeing you. You’re fun to be with.
Your the best friend ever.
Your smile makes me smile.
CeCe is smart, cool and has a mind of her own.
You go girl! (Is that saying still “in”, by the way?)
Yet I love the fact that CeCe decided to add her own note to her own card (which she very specifically pointed out to me):
You brighten my day.
Well, I guess that’s all we can ask for when we stare into the mirror at the start of each morning.
Happy Heart Day, Everyone!
NEXT UP: Who cares? It’s Valentine’s Day! Go hug someone!