Can you remember the name of your first crush? Pretty sure mine was a boy named Kyle in 8th grade. My memories of crushing on him now seem embarrassing and obsessive in the most ridiculous teenage ways possible. Scribbling his name in combination with mine all over my notebook, like it would summon him into my loving clutches. Discussing over my soggy lunch all the ways in which he could discover my hidden feelings and ask me out. Rewinding and re-playing some Boyz-II-Men song I was certain we'd slow dance to at Homecoming in high school. Day dreaming, egged on by teenage insecurities, the fear of rejection, and the truth, because I didn't actually know him - at all. I'm not even sure we had class together, I don't know if he walked or rode a bus to school, if he had siblings, or where he even lived - all good signs now that I think about it, I was clearly not scary stalker obsessed.
Those palpable feelings that come with a crush I've realized in the past few weeks repeat themselves throughout the course of life. They're the feelings like - the electric excitement at your first kiss. The "o-m-g this is happening" giddiness when asked out for the first time by someone you like. The awkward rush, flushing cheeks and sweaty palms when you first brush hands. That head-to-toe sweeping relief when he says "I love you" and you feel the exact same way.
Those tingling emotions that envelope the senses, creating memories out of moments are what I believe Valentine's Day is meant to be about. It's a day that is often criticized for hyped-up marketing, but today I do not believe that. Today, I believe we need to untie those emotions caught up in the memories of firsts, seemingly lost, but actually not. I've realized in writing this blog that they still occur, but differently now. Those feelings exist in that shoulder slumping relief when my husband understands and demonstrates empathy of how I swamped I am by doing the laundry. That warm, melting, never-ending deep pool I fall into when my daughter wraps her arms around my neck and tells me "Momma your the best". The chills that creep up my arm and tickle the back of my neck when a singer on the subway belts out the right song in the exact moment I need it. The soft and puncturing blow to my heart when I receive the first, albeit snotty kiss from my one-year-old niece.
They're the feelings Valentine's Day is selling. The tangible, profound reminders that we need to keep near our heart. You know the spot, right at the top where you're almost gagging, or giggling perhaps, remembering the spirit of the moment, tasting the good, smiling, happy, and feeling freaking amazing - that's what Valetine's Day is selling. The feelings I think we could all use a little bit more of lately - LOVE.