Parenting Guru: 17 again; A letter to my high school crush

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, we were asked to write a letter to our childhood crush. I chose my high school crush. It may have been years ago, but I still remember all the butterflies.

Hey- I smiled at you today. Did you notice? I think so. You kind of half-smiled back. It was that head tilt/thin lipped thing you do that's not as good as the full mischievous smile I love so much.

Anyway, it was in the hall on my way to social studies. You don't really notice me in the hallway, not when you're busy laughing and being loud, having some important conversation with some beautiful and popular girl. You know, the kind of girl who goes to dances in short skirts and participates in things like yearbook and Saturday morning car washes.

On Saturday mornings, I'm at marching band practice. Well…so are you, actually. But somehow, you make that activity seem oh-so-much cooler. You notice me then. I think you have to because we're the only two people marching backwards. Everyone else is following us down the football field, marching to the cadence we set as we wave our arms in the air. We have to look at each other, to make sure our tempos are exactly the same, to make sure our arms match perfectly as we conduct the band down the field. That's when I get your full attention, just for a brief second, and you smile that happy expression that makes your eyes crinkle.

That's usually where our interactions end. Sometimes I see you at your locker, quietly contemplating. I smile or say "hi" and you say, "What's up?" I'm suddenly flustered and have no idea how to respond. Saying "not much," makes me sound boring, but saying "I'm fine, how are you?" makes it seem like I don't understand high school lingo. I'm sure whatever comes out of my mouth makes me sound like a total dork.

Every so often, when you get to school before me, you park in 'my' parking spot. I wonder if you do that on purpose. My friends wonder that too. "Guess where he parked today?" they say. I'm sure you have no idea that I park in the fifth spot from the right. But I kind of hope you do it on purpose, giving me a reason to flirtatiously confront you about putting your car where mine should be.

What a dream that is. I would never do that. I'm too shy. You're too cool. Plus, what if I did talk to you and you just laughed…although I doubt you'd be that mean. I see girls talk to you like it's so easy and I'm so jealous. I wish I was confident. I wish what I say to you made you laugh.

When we have little conversations before a football game or you ask me a question, I wonder if you're trying to get to know me better. And then I see you talk and laugh with your real friends and I realize you're just being polite to me. We're not really friends. I only wish we were.

But then, there's the football field. That's where I get that awesome, eye-crinkling smile. That's where I get your attention. And as we simultaneously step backward on the soft green grass, together in our own cadence, I secretly hope that today is the day you'll notice me…even once the game is over.

Sarahlynne is proud to be a Parenting Guru at Shine. When she's not working as a freelance writer, she's writing her novel for young adults, entitled, "Touch."


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