In many ways, my daughter is literally my first love. Motherhood came late for me and was a very conscious choice. I wanted to know, in my bones, a love beyond reason. I wanted to feel a love that never rose beyond my shoulders to invoke my logical brain. Unconditional was just a word to me back then, a sentimental idea of loveyouloveyouloviedovie I love you more than……what?!?! I have no idea what I thought it was. What ever that word symbolized then, bears absolutely no resemblance to this all consuming, tender, vicious, frightened, humbled, prayerful, fierce, surrendered, sharp clawed rip your heart out animal love inside me now. It is cussin scary! We walk the aisles of Trader Joe’s and wait in ballet lobbies and oversee sandboxes, with these normal sleep deprived faces -we chit chat about schools and poop and the internet and allergies -while just under the skin, watchful and vigilant, resides the most feral creature on this planet. This unconditional love completely bypasses my brain. It is lodged somewhere in my bones past my marrow, in a place beyond my reach or my reason. It is selfless and sacrificial and shielding. I’ve never known such a love for anything or anyone in my life and nothing and no one supersedes it.
So, if we’re talking love here, my daughter is, in all humbling truthfulness, my one true Valentine. The one for whom I would joyously lay my life down, and I mean that literally. Hearts and flowers and ribbons and chocolates, she has my heart now and forever. Elizabeth Stone said it best, “..making the decision to have a child-it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body.”
So, I will also be celebrating Valentine’s Day with my daughter. She makes me a card at school, of course. Sometimes, I get some artwork. I love her artwork. And, in turn, I will send her flowers, I write her a note and then we go on a Mommy & Me date. This Sunday I have a special surprise in store for her….which I hope she likes. It could go either way I fear, as she is pre adolescent and did I mention the word “MOODY!!!!!” Regardless we will celebrate the unique love between us. Because that’s my girl, my sweetheart, my forever love. She’s my Valentine.