My seven year old is in love. He thinks she’s pretty and she says she wants to marry him. They held hands all the way to the library yesterday, so it’s pretty much the real deal. And he said he almost cried on the bus ride home because he missed her so much.
My first grader is in love, and I found myself explaining all the ups and downs of love last night – the person you think is special might not always think you are special, make sure they aren’t playing a game with you where they like you one day and not the next but do like you again the day after, if you don’t think they are special anymore please tell them nicely…
And then I wondered if I was doing something wrong.
Am I cynical? It sounds like I’m cynical. In my mind I’m just trying to prepare him – and that’s where I have to stop myself. I’m basically trying to prepare him for heartbreak.
I do remember the last time I thought love was wonderful and fun and was a good thing to go find and express and announce, even if you were the one to say it first. It was eight years ago. After that I was beaten down so badly in the name of love that I didn’t dare believe in it again for seven years. And then I fought it and wrestled with it and kept it contained because I just knew I would get burned again – which I did. But “being prepared” didn’t make it hurt any less. So why even bother preparing?
If I could, I’d go back to the way my son is now – carefree, willing to love, no worries. An open heart. Great expectations. Blind?
Maybe there’s a happy medium here somewhere. Maybe we each have something to learn. Or maybe one way is the right way.
I guess we’ll find out…