Saturday, March 9, 2013

Will You Be My Valentine?

I’ve been a mom now for almost 19 years and my kids still surprise me by teaching me just as much, if not more, than I teach them. 

My 6th grade daughter came home one day in early February and took some money out of her piggy bank.  Her middle school was having a Valentine’s Day fundraiser.  For $2, a student could purchase a carnation, attach a message and have it delivered to someone special during school.  She asked me what I thought about her buying one for her crush, a quiet boy in her band class that would occasionally give her a shy smile.  My first reaction was, “Oh, no!  Girls shouldn’t be sending flowers to boys.”  I didn’t want her to face possible rejection and humiliation.  And I didn’t want the boy to endure teasing from his friends, especially his male friends.  I wanted to protect both of them.  When I lamely tried to explain this to my daughter, she looked crushed.  She simply wanted to do something nice for someone and I was telling her she shouldn’t.  What kind of a lesson was that? And what kind of message was I sending, that in 2013 she should just sit quietly and wait for that special boy to notice her? I changed my advice on the spot.  I told her if she wanted to send the carnation to the boy, she should go for it!
After much consideration, she decided to send the carnation to her crush anonymously, and I think she was hoping she might get one too.  Although she came home empty handed on Valentine’s Day, she certainly didn’t come home empty hearted.  She told me her crush was so happy to have received the carnation as evidenced by the huge smile on his face as he showed it off to everyone.  She had made his day and that was enough for her to have a great Valentine’s Day as well. (And it didn’t hurt that she had gotten chocolates from her Mommy!)

by Melanie Foltz, Director of Finance, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy 

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