Wednesday, March 7, 2007

First Loves and First Kisses

“Bubblegum, Bubblegum in a dish!
How many pieces do you wish?”

This was the game my daughter and I played for twenty minutes while waiting for JC Penney’s to open this morning. It was actually kind of fun, and I have to admit that I was impressed at how she was able to knock me out of the game every single time. I tried to teach her one of my favorite little hand-slapping games from back in the day thinking she would love “Down Down Baby,” but sadly, she wasn’t impressed.

She most definitely did not like the last line and frowned when I said, “I like a little boy, and he likes me!”

“Mom,” she said, blushing. “That’s not funny.”

I shrugged, feigning ignorance, although I knew what she was referring to.

It’s Jordan. The boy. The one who is not her “boyfriend but just a friend that is a boy.” The one she talks about constantly. She can barely say his name without smiling or giggling, and she also keeps his school picture in her treasure box. Granted, it’s the only school picture she has (apparently the rest of the kids didn’t hand any out. I know she didn’t.), but nevertheless, it’s in the treasure box right along side a ticket stub from a football game she went to with Daddy, her money, and a flower from Mommy’s wedding bouquet. I think it’s safe to say that, although she insists her feelings for him are purely platonic, I’m certain that she has her first crush.

Some would be shocked and say, “A crush? She’s just in kindergarten!” But I don’t. After all, she knows the rules; in fact, she tells everyone, “I’m not allowed to like boys or have a boyfriend until I’m 15-years-old.” Surely this will keep her emotions in check until at least her sophomore year of high school. Right?

Okay, so maybe I’m kidding myself. She’s going to like boys. Do I wish she would be completely oblivious to them? Sure, but then again, she’s so much like me in so many ways, and I admit to being crazy about boys when I was younger. I don’t recall any particular boys in kindergarten, but then again, I spent most of that year crying because I was quiet and shy. (Stop laughing, Friends. I was shy … once.)

In first grade though, I do remember Doug. He was the big man on campus, a total stud, and thanks to the influences of his older brother, taught the rest of our class the fine game of kissing tag. Of course nobody ever got kissed, but we all ran around with lips puckered trying to catch our first loves.

In the beginning of the year, it seemed as if our whole class played during recess, but by the time May rolled around, it was mostly girls, and of course, Doug. I guess the rest of the boys gave up when they realized that they were chasing and puckering and chasing and puckering, but no girls were chasing them back. Every girl in first grade was running and sweating and puckering like crazy, but chase those other boys? Of course not. We were all too busy chasing Doug.

To our dismay, nobody ever did kiss Doug. He wasn’t just a “fox,” he was fast and elusive. Aside from kissing tag, we all tried to impress Doug, but no matter how quickly we crossed the monkey bars or how far we kicked the kickball, Doug remained out of reach. Even being placed in the Bluebirds Reading Group (the # 1 smarty pants group) wasn’t impressive to Doug. He stayed single until he moved away in the second grade, and nobody has heard of him since.

Yep. It was our first experience in the painful world of unrequited love, and for my daughter, I suspect the Jordan craze is the same thing. I’m certain she thinks he’s “cute,” but mostly, I think she just wants to be his friend. According to her, everyone wants to be Jordan’s friend, and he just doesn’t have a lot of time left for her. Unlike me, she seems mostly unfazed by that fact. I would have cried and probably sulked behind a tree at recess. But not my daughter. When talking of Jordan’s busy recess schedule, she just smiled and said, “Oh well. I have other friends. And they like me and think I’m funny and nice. I suppose that’s all that matters.”

Yes! You go girl!

I so, so, so love my daughter for everything she is. She has a warm, sweet personality and a silly side that loves to giggle and be tickled. She’s also very compassionate and often thinks of others and prays for them. And I am so thankful for her strength, determination, and the fact that she likes herself. Am I scared about her liking boys? Maybe a little, but I’m way more afraid of her losing her innocence or self-esteem. If we can somehow keep all of that in her, then maybe boys, and really anything, won’t be much of a problem.

What I’m reading: Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
What’s on deck: The Jane Austen Book Club
Miles to run today: 5
Number of Calories Hopefully Burned while Running: one million! Yeehaw!

1 comment:

Seymore Butts said...

Ummm. I thought we agreed that darling daughter would not date until she was 30.