When I was a kid, I loved Valentine's Day. It had nothing to do
with 3rd grade declarations of love or devotion, but it had
everything to do with the candy. Little chalky hearts. The ruby red
On very rare occasion, somebody's mom would go totally hog-wild
and buy chocolate for the class. That mom always held a very
special place in my heart.
I love you, Mrs. Swiebocki, wherever you are.
As I sort through all the notes from the three CPS schools my
sons attend, I am once again saddened by the no-candy rule. I
understand that allergies are an extremely serious issue. I also
appreciate the fact that some kids are diabetic and would require
separate purchases. But couldn't we just set some parameters
instead of abolishing candy from the entire face of CPS? It may
require a little extra diligence from parents and teachers alike,
but just about everything we engage in as parents and teachers
Truth be told, I'm very wary. If CPS is so legitimately
concerned about allergies and sugar, why do they turn around and
hawk nut-covered taffy apples during every fall fundraiser?
As I reviewed the list of recommended "alternatives" to candy, I
was sadly uninspired:
Because nothing says fun like paper clips.
I ran into a neighborhood mom at Target the other day as I
reluctantly dumped Valentine's Day pencils into my cart. Despite my
feeble attempts, I could not avert my longing gaze from her
shopping cart full of traditional Valentine's Day goodies.
"Buying pencils, eh? Oh. I forgot. You're CPS." She
said this as though she just remembered I was half sea turtle.
"Well, I hope the kids enjoy their writing utensils. It's
just another reason I prefer the Catholic School System. Candy is
not our enemy. Satan is."
The exchange stayed with me all day. The continuous eviction of
anything remotely fun from the public school system has left me
dispirited. Even non-religious holidays are often re-named to avoid
offending anyone. It's not your kid's "birthday" anymore, but
instead, "your child's special day." Cupcakes are strictly
verboten, and parents are again referred back to the list of
acceptable "treats" that closely resembles the back-to-school
supply catalogue I received in August.
Fed up, I brought up the Catholic school option to my husband
that evening. For a person known for her frugality, my desire to
spend money on schooling instantly aroused my husband's suspicions.
He started questioning my motives and didn't buy the old "it's all
for the children" argument.
Finally, after about two hours of debate, he nailed it on the
"This is about the candy again, isn't
I am so transparent.
And I was totally looking forward to raiding my kids'
Valentine's Day loot.
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
Let us plan your weekend with the best family events and activities in Chicagoland.
Start the week right with deals, prizes, parent life hacks and more delivered straight to your inbox.
Need last-minute ideas for a weekend of family fun? No worries. We've got you.
Get the inside scoop on the people, places and things we are loving right now.
Resources, tips, inspiration and more for parents of children with special needs.
Score exclusive offers from our fabulous advertisers.