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Love is in the air

Candy hearts, Red Hots, roses, chocolates in heart-shaped boxes, wearing red, wearing purple, s.w.a.k., ribbons and lace...what does Valentines Day mean to you?

From my own school days, I remember sitting at our kitchen table with a class list and a pen or pencil, painstakingly writing out the names of classmates on cards carefully selected for their innocuous messages (don't want that guy in the third seat back to think you actually love him). I remember being devastated the year that school was cancelled on the 14th due to winter weather. I remember spending hours designing the perfect card collecting device, which was inevitably made with a paper bag that would taped to the back of one's chair in the classroom.

Now, though, one can't pass out a card without attaching some additional token, usually in the form of candy. And nobody brings a paper bag for collecting their cards anymore. That would be blasphemy. We are part of two homeschooling groups this year; we still attend the same one that we joined last year at which Calvin takes a couple classes a week, and this year we've also started joining our little local group that meets in our library to visit and play games. The first one is more structured, the second more relaxed, but both did Valentines parties this year, which found Calvin designing, assembling, and addressing over eighty Valentines in all, and enjoying every minute of it. I refused to jump on the Second-Coming-of-Halloween bandwagon, so to speak, though. We handed out glittery pencils attached to downloaded and printed cards, as the shaft of Cupid's arrow to one group, and as an owl's tree branch to the other. Pinterest, again, was my friend.

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