I was much more forgotten this Valentine’s Day than I have been in years past. The sweet kids who think to bring presents for teachers don’t normally spend much time in my office, so I was hardly top on their lists this year. I had more than one awkward moment where a kid would see me in the hallway, visibly realize they had forgotten all about me, and then hand over a card with a, “Happy Valentine’s Day, Ms. Mathinaz! Sorry I didn’t write anything on it, but this one is for you.” I’ve never been the recipient of blank cards before today.
Now cue the sappy music, and enter the big, tough, angry boys I spend all my time with.
The first one found me after homeroom and, to my astonishment, handed over a box of chocolates. I looked at him quizzically.
“They’re for you, Miss.”
I raised an eyebrow. “For me? Did you poison them?”
“Nope, not this time!”
“Did you spit in them?”
He looked at me like I was the village idiot. “What? Seriously? How am I gonna spit in chocolates?”
Legitimate point. I ate them.
The next one was in his usual spot in my office when he started announcing that he had something for me. I figured he was trying to distract me and told him to just do his work. He persisted, and I kept shutting him down. Finally, he went into his backpack anyway and pulled out one of those long-stemmed plastic roses. He handed it over with the most adorably bashful look and I melted.
It’s like stepping into some alternate universe, where I don’t spend all my time giving them consequences and they don’t spend all their time throwing tantrums at me.