The Cupid Wars set hearts afire

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Don’t you just hate it when worlds collide?
My second-grader informed us, imperiously, that Cupid is “just a myth.” He knows this because his teacher told him so and “she knows everything.” That is a direct quote.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch – or across the hall, as the case may be – our first-grader was thrilling to tales of how Cupid himself had shot an arrow at, you guessed it, HER teacher. This fine educator wouldn’t tell a lie now, would she? Clearly, Cupid must be real!
Oh brother. Where’s a nice tie-breaking innocent bystander you can throw to the wolves when you need one?
Anti-Valentine’s Day? We are already marked for life as some freakish family that appears to have deep beliefs causing us to boycott Valentine’s Day.
THIS after both children, in their first few years of formal education, managed to contract mysterious illnesses that caused them to miss their class Valentine’s Day parties.
Our daughter missed her kindergarten party with some illness or another (who can keep them straight in a classroom full of what seems to be life-sized runny noses with small children attached?).
Meanwhile, our son, never to be outdone, missed both kindergarten AND first-grade parties, and is thus convinced that Valentine’s Day ITSELF is a complete myth – so much so that he fills out valentine cards with a slightly jaded eye cast at my obvious penchant for imaginary holidays.
Do we boycott Valentine’s Day? It would seem so. Yet, I assure you nothing could be further from the truth. We like chalky candy and cheap chocolate sentiment as much as the next family. Really, we do!
Choosing sides. What I don’t like is being cast as the ultimate referee in what we have come to call The Cupid Wars.
I’m perfectly comfortable, as a parent with a vast, eight years of experience under my belt, to be considered the ultimate authority on such important matters as the Easter Bunny (yes), Santa (yes, definitely), the Great Pumpkin (not unless you’re Snoopy), and the Tooth Fairy (yes, but kind of flaky, often suffering from unexcused absences that cause her to miss important pick-ups. This requires a return – and double-pay – the next night).
Where I stand on Cupid, though, is uncharted – and devilishly tricky – territory.
Middle ground. Trying to bridge the Cupid-infested waters between two siblings who will bicker to the death over who has the biggest, first or mostest of ANYTHING is a losing battle. You can imagine what they’ve done with a campaign platform like “Cupid: Yes or No?”
If they learn NOTHING in those incessant teacher in-service days, they should, at the very least, know this: You don’t come between a kid and his or her imaginary friend. At the very least, you get together with the rest of the staff and take a vote on it. Isn’t this what we have a school board for?
Enough of this nonsense about school funding and nutrition in lunches; what I need is good, solid leadership on fairies or flying boys, or whatever it is that creepy little Cupid is anyway.
Love, lies and the law. What we cannot have is this – misinformation! Frankly, it puts a parent at a distinct disadvantage. Namely: Which teacher am I going to call a liar?
Do I stand firm behind the second-grade leader, unyielding in our beliefs that encouraging young people to believe in diaper-clad, flying fairies who fling arrows willy-nilly might be a tad irresponsible?
In a climate where children can’t bring aspirin or even plastic butter knives to school, I’m guessing there would most definitely be a zero-tolerance policy on arrows.
Or, do I side with the beloved first-grade teacher, sharing the joyful belief in true love shot straight to the heart with Cupid’s own arrow?
And to think, it was all so easy when my sole responsibility was scheduling some forgetful fairy’s breaking and entering in hot pursuit of a few lost teeth.
Meanwhile, what we go through in pursuit of the truth about Cupid, well, let me tell you, THAT’S the real crime.
(Kymberly Foster Seabolt believes in true love and chocolate but reserves the right to remain silent on Cupid. She welcomes comments c/o kfs@epohi.com; P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460; http://userweb.epohi.com/~kseabolt.)

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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.

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