― Edna St. Vincent Millay
I was flat out in love with Chad. I'm talking share your desserts at lunch, play kickball with the boys, and bargain with your parents for phone time in the evening. I'm pretty sure that by all measures I had a slight obsession with Chad. There was something about him. My first 'Dear Diary' confession was entered in on November 5, 1991. I even thought enough to time stamp this momentous profession...8:23pm. As a fifth grader, my sense of love skyrocketed. I don't remember every detail about this experience, but I remember the feeling...it was total joy! By November 12, Chad and I had talked on the phone and we arranged a future wedding. (I was so thoughtful to inscribe the bottom of each page with, 'I love you Chad). And by April 7, 1992 at 8:36pm, my entry read, 'Dear Diary, I think I am in love with Chad!'
Our sixth grade class took a trip to Washington D.C. It was the first adventure I had ever been on without my parents. We departed from Ohio and made our way South. Halfway through our trip, we pulled into the truck stop. I remember our class racing off of the bus to explore the gift shop at the truck stop. Once we returned to the bus, Chad came up to me and presented me with a present. He had purchased me a golden red floral broach. It was neatly tucked into a circular plastic container. As he handed it to me, I felt my heart flutter. I still have this broach and I can still feel my heart fluttering with gratitude!
As I sit with the innocent fervor of excitement at these feelings, I can't help but smile. I drift back to being a 5th and 6th grader...so much excitement, awkwardness, and heart all at the same time. At this age I still hadn't learned to sensor the raw emotions of myself. If I felt love, I expressed it. If I felt anger, I experienced it. If I thought something was funny, I laughed until my sides hurt. As a youngster, there was a continuous stream of emotions that passed through my awareness.
As you reflect on the first loves in your life, what do you remember? I remember the sweet feeling of butterflies in my tummy, the smiles that made my face hurt! And the eagerness to express the core emotion of who we are-love. Are you still connected to these individuals in your life? I'm happy to report that Chad and I are still friends. In light of this early connection, I will always be grateful to him for igniting such innocent sparks of love!
If I were writing in my Diary today, here's what I think it would say, 'Dear Diary- I'm so grateful for all of the hearts in my life who have allowed me to experience and express love!'
May You Sweetly Seek:)