My assignment? “Please pick up Valentines for Basil.” Remembering last year, Heather urged me to avoid seeking Basil’s opinion. “Anything will do, though he really likes Star Wars.”
Last year Basil and I shopped together at CVS. His bent towards war-like characters drove me to nudge him towards a kinder, gentler world. I suggested one of the packages (30 for $2.99) with cute puppy faces to which Basil responded,”Nobody likes puppies!” We ended up with Ninja Turtles.
Hunting Valentines on the day before, limited selection. No Star Wars characters, lots of puppies. Maybe, Basil’s right. Finally settled on a package of Despicable Me Valentines, complete with sticker tattoos. Basil loved them, even as we sat around the table, struggling to insert tattoo stickers into dash size slits in each Valentine.
Valentine’s Day brought him racing towards me after school, juggling backpack and a decorated box, containing symbols of love and Valentine wishes from his first grade class. Several were home made. One pink, frilly heart read, “Basil, you are so so nis.” She probably didn’t get 100 on her spelling test. One boy in the class drew a basketball hoop and stick figures shooting baskets, while one shooter yells,”Watch out for Cupid!” Obviously, Basil’s best friend.
At the end of the day, it was a good one. Home made or store bought, Basil got the message that he mattered and offered the same to the rest of his class and his teacher. Hers was homemade. I asked Basil how she liked her Valentine. “She loved it, I think. She never opened it.”
Which is, after all, at the heart of Valentine’s Day, dare to open the heart.
Especially when we can’t figure out why, despicable me, has just been given an overflowing treasure chest of unexpected, undeserved Love from One who knows better.
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