Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Valentine's Day Lesson Learned

One of princesses came home from school on Monday with a Xeroxed note from her teacher about the class Valentine's Day plans and a list of all her classmates for card making purposes. My son was never one for making or giving valentines, so this was new territory for me. Figuring I'd better get on the ball, I created a simple but personalized sheet of valentines for each Princess on the color printer at work. Feeling proud of myself, I took them home and gave them to the girls at dinner time along with the class lists. "You see, this way you can make sure everybody gets one and nobody feels left out."

The princesses looked at me like I had six heads. Jasmine, the elder Princess, bounced up and down in her chair and shook her head vehemently. "No, you don't give one to everybody! I only give one to people who are nice to me!"

"Yeah!" The littler Princess backed up her big sister. "Only nice people!"

As I cleaned up after dinner I gave some thought to this whole Valentine's day thing. The girls were right, of course - you should only give your heart to somebody deserving of it, not to every Tom, Dick and Harry out there! I'm not sure when or how it happens, but somewhere along the way too many of our smart, self-assured little girls forget this as they grow up and allow themselves to linger in abusive or toxic relationships with men who don't or can't appreciate them. It sort of makes me wonder, might the mixed messages we give our little girls on Valentine's Day be where it all starts to unravel?

This morning Baby Brother and I watched as two happy, independent, assertive little Princesses climb aboard the school bus, each with a few special Valentine's Day cards in her backpack.

On behalf of the Princesses and in honor of other independent women of the world, here's wishing you a very happy Valentine's Day from the Slow Lane.

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