Kids Say: Valentine’s Day Expectations

This is the first post of what I intend to be a regular column of sorts. As a mom, I’m often surprised into laughter by my kiddos’ views on the world, so I thought I’d start sharing some of those moments. Enjoy!

Valentine’s Day is Friday. I know, I know. Another commercialized holiday that boosts sales revenue rather than promoting societal value. Yeah, yeah. Just gimme chocolate, okay?


In all honesty, V-Day makes me a little uncomfortable. It’s laden with expectations that, perhaps, we feel obligated to live up to on this day that’s supposedly about love. Sometimes, however, you encounter the unexpected.

My son is eleven and he has a “girlfriend” whom he only sees at school. (I think most early relationships begin this way.) He’s been mentioning her more and more of late, so I wasn’t too surprised when he asked to buy a box of chocolates for her. My reaction was more of a grin-and-shuffle while humming “we’ve only just begun.” And, yes, he did say I was embarrassing him. (A mother’s joy, don’t you know.)

My son has five dollars and a dilemma. In one hand he’s holding a shiny box of chocolate. In the other hand, a cap pistol. This, my friends, really got me started. How could I not chuckle in the face of this age-old dilemma? Love or toys? He vocalized his struggle, holding up each item in question, letting me know that he really wanted both things, but money (as is usually the case) was problematic, because he didn’t have enough. So, we compromised. He settled for a lesser box of chocolate and only had to borrow one dollar from me to get his toys, too.

While all that above was a learning experience in itself (for both of us), here’s the real kicker: He ate the chocolate. Not all the chocolate, mind you. Three pieces, missing because he thought it would be cute to arrange the chocolates to resemble a face, and to do that he had to eat a few. (His sister ratted him out, or else I wouldn’t have known.)

Aside from the fact that he ate some of the unsuspecting girl’s candy, he saw no problem with it. When I asked how he would feel if someone gave him a partially eaten box of chocolate, he simply shrugged. No big deal. Apparently, it really is the thought that counts– which is something I’ve tried to teach both my children. Looks like that lesson was a success!

I’m reminded of my own doubts concerning the expectations of V-Day. I’m sure the girl he planned to give the chocolates to would certainly expect the box to be unopened and whole. My son would have expected her to appreciate the thought. The thing I’ve discovered is that what we expect someone to expect isn’t always what they actually expect, if that makes sense. So, dear friends, I urge you to chill out this Valentine’s Day. If you give a gift, give a thoughtful gift, and for goodness sake, don’t eat the damn candy.

In the words of my son: Lesson learned.

Now, excuse me while I have some chocolate.

(Image via Coral Actives)

Live. Love. Write.


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