Flashback to Senior year of high school. Valentine's was an all week event. It was the day before the actual Valentine's Day. The halls were filled with emotions of both envy and gloating. The ones who showed off and displayed their tokens of other's affections, the ones who walked by pretending not to care but secretly wishing a last minute gift would be theirs.
Second period, and how I wished my then boyfriend went to the same school as me. Just then, a note from the front office came. "Lindsay B.... You have a package waiting to be picked up in the front Office, rm. 101"... Oh TJ....(Then Boyfriend)... how you did not disappoint.
My feelings of envy quickly turned to prideful satisfaction. I raced down to that wonderful room, rm. 101, that held the keys to a teenage girls biggest wish on that designated day of love. Would it be roses? A bear? perhaps it would be both with a letter of profound love.
My excitement was quickly extinguished when that parent volunteer with her ugly heart knitted sweater denied me of that one thing I swore would prove me as being cool and popular.
"Because we do not know what is in the package, we can not hand it over until the school day is over, you will have to wait and come back at the end of the day"..
No...No... No.... This could not be happening. Didn't she see? This was the one thing I had been dreaming and wishing for in four years of high school Valentine's Day. I needed that package now. I needed others to see how loved I was.
The day dragged on as if each minute was laughing in my face. Everyone had heard about my big package in room 101. My friends joined in on the guessing of what my thought to be one true love had sent me on this day. Finally, the last bell was minutes away. Even my History teacher was excited to see what the boy from another school had sent me in his declaration of love.
Being a senior had its advantages. I stood in that skylight hallway by my locker, a big package in hand for all to see as students and teachers passed through that main, high school hallway. Friends gathering around in both excitement and jealousy together. The package was finally opened. Roses were displayed. Ornate cookies made to look like a bouquet of flowers were also there. Yes, yes... He had done well. I smiled with pride and gloating. "Lindsay... You have the most amazing boyfriend!" was the one declaration I will always remember.
... Then the note, my proclamation of love I couldn't wait to read out loud. Without hesitation or a slight thought to proof read.... I read out loud for all to hear...
"Happy Valentine's Day Sweetie. I hope you know how much you are loved. I love you so much. Love, Mom"...
Wait.... huh? Yes... I had read it right. I had read it out loud... It was already out and too late to take back. That wonderful gift of love was from my mother. Not from that boy who I was so proud to call my own on that day, not from a secret admirer to show off how cool I thought I was. It was in fact, from my mother.
The laughter filled the hallways, the rolling to the floor in unexpected, hilarious embarrassment. The friends who literally almost peed their pants, the one friend who admitted she actually did. The jokes and teasing came, and it was too late to try and recover from. I was a senior for goodness sake. I was too cool for this.
But in that moment, one thing was right... I did feel loved on that day. And the quick instinct of embarrassment soon turned to gloating again. Yes, it was from my mom - what did your mom do for you today?
Though the next day I truly did receive a bouquet of red roses from that boy from another school. I secretly loved my mother's gift more. And even though I had those roses to show that I was loved by a significant other on that day of declared love, to show off an gloat about - that embarrassing moment of my senior year valentines will always mean more than a temporary flower to show off.
Happy Valentine's Everyone. Hope we all remember this holiday to respect and admire the love that is truly the most important to us in our lives. And remember... Don't try and take yourself too seriously... Because your mom will find a way to humble you.