I've had the same valentine for the last 30 years. When I started school, my valentine would come to my class dressed in a suit and tie with a single red rose. He'd interrupt class, halting any discussion verbs and adverbs, addition or fractions, or talk of the periodic table. He'd walk in, give me a rose, and hug me in front of the entire class. My senior year of high school, he gave me my first dozen roses.
Once I left for college, my valentine didn't let distance stop him. I would receive a package in the mail- most often to the day- with a card and gift.
I know a lot of single girls who dread the day. They dread watching everyone around them get flowers, packages, chocolate, etc. It's a reminder that they don't have a significant other.
For me? I've never dreaded the day. The day is a reminder that I DO have someone in my corner. Someone who will always be in my corner.
I'd watch classmates get gifts from their boyfriends. It didn't make me jealous. I knew a guy with a suit and tie would be coming for me.
I'd watch as coworkers have deliveries made to their offices. It didn't make me jealous. I knew something would be in my mailbox.
And even at the age of 30, I opened my package this morning while I ate my heart-shaped pancakes.
Dad, thanks for being my valentine. Thanks for making this day so special for me every year. Thanks for affirming me, for loving me. For making sure I never felt left out on this day.
You've got my heart.
Mom, I can't finish this post without recognizing you. Growing up, we always started Valentine's Day with a fun breakfast thanks to you. The pink and red wrapped gift on the table usually had some piece of jewelry that you'd picked out for us. You were always in the details. The small things. The little things. You made the little things the big things. Thanks for loving us so well.
And lastly. When I see dad's taking care of their girls on Valentine's Day- I want nothing more than to stand up and cheer you on. I want to tell you "You're doing it right! Don't ever stop! Keep going. Even if she rolls her eyes at you (which I may have done on more than one occasion.)" Most of my friends these days are becoming parents. Dads, you will be her first valentine. That's a role no one else can fill. Do it well. Set that bar high.