Mia has a love/hate relationship with a boy in her class. She loves him, he, well… you get the idea. To protect the poor boy, shall we call him…. Tim? (try not saying that like the Monty Python Holy Grail character. Go on, try).
First, she talked about him non-stop. Even three-year-old Wendy had taken to teasing in a sing-song voice about Mia’s boy-oy-friend. Then, she related stories of how mean Tim was to her. Finally, after I let her engage in some art therapy white board and dry-erase markers, she created a picture of his name, a green & pink striped heart, underscored by an angry black “X.” She interpreted her picture to mean that Tim broke her heart.
Tim has so invaded her psyche that the other night, she claimed she couldn’t sleep because she couldn’t stop thinking about him. Six years old, and already, insomnia strikes because of a male. I thought I would write her a letter.
This probably won’t be the last time a boy breaks your heart. It probably won’t be the last time that someone you thought was a friend didn’t love you in the way you love them, when your kindness is repaid with a cold shoulder and your soft heart melts against their icy one.
Let me tell you as your mom, as someone who has been brokenhearted, as someone who may have broken a heart and as someone who wants nothing more than for your heart to remain whole and pure and full… don’t stop loving because Tim in Kindergarten said he didn’t like your pigtail and didn’t want to play monsters and princess at recess.
If you guard your heart, you miss it. It is the butterfly in your stomach when the person you’ve had a crush on since you can remember, asks you to dance. It is the pads of fingers interlaced with yours on a first date. It is a timid kiss on the walk to your door. It is bringing you feel-better food when you’re sick. It is that one glance that makes the world stop.
The most dangerous thing about love is giving up on it too soon. Mia, there are many communicable diseases we fight in this life, cold, flu, strep, stomach bugs, and you have caught all of those at school at one time or another, but love is a malady you should aim to keep. Don’t fight this one, Mia Bee. Just because your heart’s been broken, don’t create love antibodies. There is love out there for you.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds – Psalm 147:3
I’m telling you what I wish someone had told me when I had my first heartbreak – give your best gifts away (don’t take this the wrong way… some things you should KEEP, but we’ll have that talk later). I wish I had given love where I had the chance and received in when it was offered. Love: the real, live, hopeful, dizzying, giddy love that rushes to your head and kapow’s your heart like a Batman episode.
So, what I want you to take away from all this, my beauty, is that I’m going to keep praying for you to keep your heart open as it heals. I’m also going to pray that Tim never meets Wendy, because I think she has some retaliation in mind for the boy who hurt her “stiss-ter.”
Give it to me straight: what was your first heart-break?