Another look at love

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They giggled and laughed. They hid their faces, opened their eyes wide with shock and even stuck their tongues out in disgust at the mention of crushes, kissing and boyfriends or girlfriends.

St. Mary’s Catholic School third graders Mathias Sanchez, left, and Dominic Sais, right, talk about love, marriage and Valentine’s Day. Sanchez covers his mouth in embarrassment at the mention of kissing girls.

The News-Bulletin asked a group of St. Mary’s Catholic School students, from kindergarten through third grade, what they thought about Valentine’s Day, love, relationships, kissing and marriage.

KINDERGARTEN

Drake Jaramillo said he hadn’t bought Valentine’s Day cards or candy yet, but he did have something else.

“We have special hearts in our pockets,” Jaramillo said about the small, pink paper heart in his jean pocket. “They tell us if we’ve been doing something right or wrong.”

Mayce Tellez added, “We wrote Jesus inside (of our hearts), because our teacher says we have Jesus in our hearts.”

“What’s your favorite thing about Valentine’s Day?” the News-Bulletin asked.

“Sharing with people and getting them things,” Tellez said.

“Love is having a happy time with your heart,” said Serafina Jones.

“(Love is) sharing with people and giving all your love,” Tellez said.

“Saying you love people and getting them heart candy with words on it,” Jaramillo said.

“Do you guys like boys or girls?” the News-Bulletin asked.

“No,” Jones said giggling.

A smiled spread across Jaramillo’s face as he placed his face flat on a table.

Mayce Tellez, left, and Drake Jaramillo, right, kindergartners at St. Mary’s Catholic School, explain the special hearts they carry in their pant pockets. Tellez makes a heart with her hands to illustrate her point.

“We’re too little,” Tellez said.

“I don’t like nobody,” shouted Jones.

FIRST GRADE

Marcus Rimon said Valentine’s Day is about loving people and being nice to others.

“(Valentine’s Day is) being kind and not being that mean,” said David Castillo.

“It’s about giving your mom stuff,” said Kevin Mendoza.

“So, what’s love?” the News-Bulletin asked.

“Nice stuff,” Rimon said.

“Being nice to people,” Castillo said.

“Kissing,” added Mendoza, before the three boys started laughing.

“Have you guys ever kissed a girl?” the News-Bulletin asked.

“Eeww! No! That’s nasty,” Rimon said.

“What do you think marriage is?” the News-Bulletin asked.

“When you’re grown up,” Rimon said.

“I don’t know,” said Mendoza.

“Marriage is about loving people and sharing gifts,” Castillo said.

“Do you guys like any girls?” the News-Bulletin asked.

Ungelbah Daniel-Davila-News-Bulletin photos: All the kindergartners at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Belen carry a heart in their pockets with the name “Jesus” on it to symbolize keeping Him in their heart. Serafina Jones, looks at her heart while she tells the News-Bulletin about what love is.

“No, we’re not big enough yet,” Rimon said.

“Yeah, we’re not big enough,” Castillo said.

SECOND GRADE

Gracie Baca said Valentine’s Day was about love and happiness, and Braiden Koester made a face of disgust when asked if he or his chums had ever kissed anyone.

“Ugh!” he said as he opened his eyes wide and stuck his tongue out.

Boeby Sanchez said love was about kissing.

“Do you guys have a girlfriend or boyfriend?” the News-Bulletin asked.

“Yeah,” Sanchez said. “She’s not in my class. She goes to my day care and she comes to my house all the time.”

Baca and Koester giggled at Sanchez as they hid their faces.

Christina Moya said Valentine’s Day is about caring for others.

Sofia Castillo added it was about loving each other.

“Have you guys ever held a boy’s hand?” the News-Bulletin asked.

Moya quickly said, “No.”

“Is it gross?” the News-Bulletin asked.

“Yeah,” the girls said in unison.

“Maybe when we get a little older,” Moya added.

“Have you guys ever kissed a boy or a girl?”

“Eeww! No!” said Marcos Chavez before scrunching up his face.

“Is kissing gross?”

“Yeah,” said Selena Fresquez. “I don’t even kiss my brother. He has boy cooties.”

“Do you guys have a boyfriend or a girlfriend?” the News-Bulletin asked.

“Eeww! No!” the students said in unison, as Fresquez stuck her tongue out.

“So, what’s love?” the News-Bulletin asked.

“I have no idea,” said Sammy Medrano.

“Me neither,” added Chavez.

Valentine’s Day is about being with your family and having a good time, said Faith Baldonado.

“It’s about getting together,” said Victoria Stone.

“It’s not just about giving, it’s about loving and kindness,” Guinivere Mayse added, after saying she had bought her dad a box of chocolates.

“So, what’s love?”

“Love is like a relationship, hugs and being nice to each other,” Mayse said.

“It’s about being nice to each other and celebrating,” Kateri Jones said.

“And being close to family and having a good time,” Stone added.

“Do you guys have any boyfriends?”

Mayse’s hand shot up in the air.

“He’s my neighbor next door,” she said.

“Gwen, he’s not your boyfriend. He’s your neighbor,” Baldonado said.

Stone said one of her male friends likes her, “because he usually just wants to play with me.”

THIRD GRADE

Allen Torres said Valentine’s Day is about loving and sharing moments with mom and dad.

Dominic Sais said for Valentine’s Day, his class usually has a party where students bring in Valentine cards and candy and place them on each other’s desks.

But Mathias Sanchez said he hasn’t made a Valentine’s Day card for a girl he had a crush on.

“No, no. That’s a big no, no,” Sanchez said while shaking his head.

When asked if the boys had ever kissed a girl, Sais said “maybe.”

“What do you mean?” the News-Bulletin asked

“The girl kissed me,” he said, adding he kind of liked the girl.

Michael Mendoza said it was hard to explain what love is.

Sanchez said love was “about romance.”

Sais added, “It’s about kissing, love and stuff.”

John Dieterichs said a girl also kissed him — “sort of.”

“She kissed me on the shoulder,” Dieterichs said. “It was like on the playground.”

Dieterichs said he didn’t kiss her back, but another classmate did later.

“When the teacher would read to us, they would sit close to each other in the back and hold hands,” he said.

Mendoza piped in saying Dieterichs and the girl would pass notes to each other in paper airplanes.

“She wrote me love notes,” Dieterichs added.


-- Email the author at aortiz@news-bulletin.com.