Perils of young love and other school plagues

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.Β  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.

Dear Mia:

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?


59 responses to “Perils of young love and other school plagues

  1. Oh my word…I’m so old I don’t remember my first heart-break. I’ve had many over the years, unfortunately. And, also unfortunately, those experiences caused me to guard my heart too much (one case in particular involved verbal/mental abuse)…but that’s another story for another time.

    I’d say probably was the first boy I can really recall having a crush on – most of elementary school – at least starting in grade 2 or 3. His name was Michael and he was so cute. I even named my “pet” polywog (which died after a couple of days…who knew they didn’t eat fish food) after him. And, sadly, Michael didn’t feel the same way about me – or if he did, he didn’t say anything.

    • I love that you named your polywog Michael in his honor. I think it might have been a “sign” when the polywog died – a metaphor, if you will.

      I think my first heartbreak was about 2nd grade, when I was madly in kid-love with Brandon. Oh, my! He never did appreciate the girl down the street that purposefully walked out of her way to go to school so that she might catch him coming out of his house to walk with her… I’m pretty sure if you found him and asked today, he would say “Kristin, who?”

  2. Very first heartbreak. I was 10, and as I was running for the bus after school, I yelled to my crus, asking for her school pic. Her response was an immediate no. I was crushed.
    Most heartbreaking: being told by my crush that I would be a good mate for someone someday. Implicit in her statement was that it wasn’t going to be her. At least that’s the way I read.

  3. I was in middle school….only went “went out” about a 2 weeks (which included thanksgiving week)….I had no Idea how to have a girlfriend…i didn’t even sit with her at lunch…but one time and it was weird….this is a girl that i had a crush on for at least 2 years and never told her… brother oppened his big mouth….and told my big secret…..

    anywho…..after the thanksgiving break I saw her walking down the hall with another guys “letter” jacket….”that was weird”….then I got it….”the letter”….i read it in the back seat of my moms van and cried my eyes out at the parking lot of a Dominos Pizza carryout….

    She was my first girlfriend…but not really….you know?…..Then i met my wife 2 years later….sweet.

    • ah, the girlfriend but not really that you loved, but not enough to sit with her at lunch. that’s pretty cute, actually, and sad.

      • Hey I was in the 6th! lol…what do you want from me? lol!!! I remember thinking back to this and everyone pretty much said the same thing…”ok you liked this girl for 2 years and then you asked her to be your girlfriend and then you didn’t sit with her and her friends at lunch” Suck Arny….lol…..I’ve always been clueless about this kinda of stuff….
        And my daughter is in pre-k and she has this “boy” she always talks about too….but as a father….i cringe at the thought!!!!! lol….

  4. First hearbreak- probably my 7th grade crush moving away. Never had the guts to “ask her out” (whatever that meant to a 13 year old). *sniff*

  5. Okay, I love what you did for your daughter. That is something that she will remember when she has kids over her own. And it’s something that I will remember for a long time. The hair on my arms is still standing up.

    My first real heart -break was when I was in High School. Actually it was at the end of my senior year. My best friend, was a girl, I was madly in love with her. I finally told her how I felt, but it wasn’t mutual. We spent time being in love when the other one didn’t feel that way.

    In the end it all worked out. I married my wife who is the love of my life. And my friend in HS married a really good guy.

  6. I started early; my first “young love” happened when I was about 3 or 4 years old, a little red-haired girl who lived around the corner from us. We had it all planned out: she didn’t want to change her name when we got married, so I was going to take hers instead (self-sacrificing love and all that). Sadly, we moved away shortly after that, so I guess it wasn’t meant to be. I found out later that she ended up going to Texas A&M, so I guess it’s probably a good thing that we split up when we did. I might have a hard time marrying an Aggie….

  7. Love is a communicable disease? A malady?


  8. My first heartbreak was when I was 10. She was cute and she once gave me a kiss. Then last day of school (just before summer vacation), I never heard from her again. After 2.5 long months of summer, on day 1 of school I tried to get another kiss but she wasn’t “into me” anymore. I cried for like 15 minutes. Then I went to play handball.

  9. I couldn’t read the name Tim without thinking of Monty Python. And now it’s in my head all day. Thanks.

    My first heartbreak has a twist. I broke up with her for a dumb reason and then realized how stupid I had been in breaking up with her. Haunts me still today but is a good reminder to think decisions through a lot more than I used to do.

    • learning from those heartbreaks and using those lessons to make the relationships down the road count is key.

      sorry about the Monty Python ear worm. sing with me now “We’re knights of the round table, we dance when’ere we’re able…”

  10. I don’t really have a heartbreak… the only girl I ever loved I married. We broke up for a short period in high school but that’s because I needed a “break”. πŸ™‚ It’s great you’re teaching your children about love at a young age. You sound like a great mother.

  11. What a sweet letter for your daughter! My first heartbreak was in 5th grade. I’d had a big crush on Brad for awhile. One day on the playground my friend told me that Brad had said I was “rad.” Before I could get my hopes up, she told me it stood for “retarded and dumb.” I was crushed. What a jerk!

    • that’s a terrible acronym! where do kids pick this crap up? Good riddance to jerks, I say. get thee behind me, Satan!

      • Jonathan B

        I find myself wondering if the friend was the jerk rather than Brad. Rad was always a good thing when I knew of it.

  12. Beautiful! I like what I’m hearing from you today, my friend. πŸ™‚

  13. this had me in tears. and i’ve already cried once today! my little sister is the retaliation kind. they’re the best kinds of sisters to have :o)

  14. Mine would be 4th grade, I think. The cute little girl that 3 different guys had crushes on. She was really sweet, but unfortunately she listened to her friends. And they thought it was terribly funny to put the guys who had crushes on her through the wringer. So they prodded her into relocating when we hung out near her, so we’d have to follow along. When they giggled after the first time and prodded her to do it again at a run, I quit. I didn’t like being used to amuse her friends.

    Still had a crush on her, but I refused to play games like that. Her best friend, who was also one of my best friends and not involved in that incident, wished me good luck with her in my yearbook that year. Funnily enough, a few years later after I’d left that school, it suddenly dawned on me when looking back at my yearbook from that year that the best friend had probably had a crush on me herself and never said anything.

    • girls can be mean, too, I admit. not me, never me, but some girls I heard about once were mean. just kidding. I’m sure the best friend was just shy and didn’t have a good idea about how to start the convo

      • Jonathan B

        I shall say something that sounds terribly conceited, but is supported by data: the “best friend” had the only brain in that class that I could not outpace. Not that the other kids were dumb at all; we actually had some pretty smart kids in our class as I look back at it. But she and I were top of the class for as many years as we were in the same class. I don’t remember what started our friendship, but I think what cemented it was that we were essentially male and female versions of each other. :> I wish I knew what she’s doing these days, not for romantic reasons but to see what she achieved, because I know how much potential she had.

  15. this girl wendy, in kindergarden. she wouldn’t play monsters either. and she was a vegetarian. it was doomed to fail.

  16. I was more of the heart breaker in elementary and high school. There was a long list of girls who had crushes on me but were never able to nab me. What can I say, I was/am super sexy that way =D

    My first heart break actually came with the girl I dated in college…and almost married. It wasn’t the end of the relationship that broke my heart (although that was pretty tough – since we were making plans to get married). It was a year or two into our relationship when she started spending a lot of time with some other guy, was lying to me about it, and tried to convince me I was just being unnecessarily jealous.

    Took me a long time to get over that and trust her again.

    • we’ve already established you are super sexy by virtue of your sewing skills and smahts.

      I’ve heard enough stories to know that “unecessarily jealous” usually isn’t.

  17. I like the new profile pic, by the way, Kristin. Love your smile. You look so happy. πŸ™‚

    You might have to get Jason’s sewing skills to add another shoulder strap to that dress, though. The lack of symmetry is eating at my brain. Yes, I am one of those people who eats the unmatched colors in a handful of M&Ms first then arranges them in pairs. πŸ˜‰

  18. I somehow manged to muster up enough courage to ask Catherine to be my girlfriend in 2nd grade. She said no and I was crushed. It was awful.

  19. This is precious, and a little too much for my heart. Thank you all the same.

  20. I love the letter to your daughter. I think I need to be reminded of that myself at times.

    My first heartbreak was in 3rd grade. I had known Carl my whole life and thought I was going to marry him. (We even played house together. That’s real love.) Then in 3rd grade he decided he liked someone else. She was the cool girl that everyone was a little scared of. And her name was Jennifer like me, but she had perfect red hair and I had boring brown hair. I think that was the first time I ever compared myself to another girl and wished I was different.

    • Thanks, Jenn.

      We’re still comparing ourselves to other girls. I wish it were easier to not do that, but I’m guilty of not loving the skin I’m in, that God gave me.

  21. Pingback: Lies and the lying liars who lie to my daughter « Messy Paradise

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