The little love…


{Photo cred: Amy Treasure}

A week ago, I stood upon the threshold of my oldest daughter’s bedroom. My tired body leaned into the door frame. It was late, past completion of story time, lullabies, and prayers.

I’d been on my way out, my headspace churning gears in an attempt to gather energy to go downstairs and mind the kitchen still in a state of disarray from dinner.

“I love you. I’ll see you in the morning.” I smiled at her.

I nearly walked away, but her stricken face kept my feet planted at her doorframe. I was motionless for the greedy pull of my eyes. I watched as her small fingers pinched the square Hello Kitty pillow in her lap as her eyesight continually bounced from her feet back to me. Her heart shaped face was injected with an emotion that made weariness jolt my brain awake.

She was restless and most definitely had something to say to me. She deeply inhaled, before our thoughts collided.

“Mama, I have something to tell you.” She exhaled in a voice radiating excitement. Then her face broke into a massive grin, the kind that sinks the corners of her mouth deep into her cheeks.

I released the air, heavy as rocks stuck deep in my lungs, before taking a few steps toward her.

“What is it?”

Pregnant silence.

“I have a CRUSH!” Her voice energetically barrels out and then she slaps the pillow to her forehead and lets out a high-pitched squeal into it. She continues to hide her face a full five seconds, before swiftly pulling the pillow back to her lap. She’s wading in a pool of embarrassment. Her demeanor says so. Her eyes jet towards me, connect for a mere .0000007 of a second with mine, before dashing away again. She looks at her lamp. The posters on her wall. Her fidgeting fingers; anything to avoid looking at me.

I feel like choking. My oldest daughter has never been boy crazy. Now, her younger sister is mad for boys. She’s seven and already been in love forty six times–the total number of boys in her kindergarten and 1st grade classes.

But Avayah, this is new and feels heavy. My spine involuntarily straightens. Adrenaline floods my entire system. I cough, before forcefully breaking my face with an easy smile. I drop into the chair beside her bed and place my elbows on my knees before cupping my jaw.

Reactions. Dang, they are hard as a parent. You can pull out the wrong one and completely ruin the moment (and they never share with you again). There I am sitting in her chair trying not to smile too big, or worse, scowl. (This is my first baby, she’s not allowed to grow up. My heart is screaming, NO! I am not ready for this.)

“Who is it?” I croak. I’m positive my voice sounds stretched too high. She looks at me strange. I think she’s gauging my trustworthiness. I almost scoff at her in return.

“His name is Russel.” She giggles. Here is where I want to roll on the ground, stomp my feet, and act like a straight lunatic, because I’m hit with about 27 different emotions I don’t know how to comprehend.  It feels insane.

She is my first baby.  A slide show of firsts flickers before me. I’m spaced out, watching a mental video of all her milestones, as that country song, ‘I loved her first’ plays alongside it, inside my head. I can feel my hysterics inching up on me. (I’ve already cried five times writing this post.)

I’m seconds away from becoming a legit basket case. Call the asylum now. (All the while, I want to tell myself to get a grip. She’s 10. It’s not like she told me she’s getting married, but still. This is new territory. We won’t, no she, she won’t go back from here—insert ugly cry here. I need tissues…and hugs, friends.)

My baby has found intrigue in the opposite sex.

While I die on the inside, we make casual small talk about Russel. Her cheeks are pink; her face alight with infatuation. She says he’s nice, funny, and cute. He even stopped mid-race to help her up when she tripped. Gush. These parents are raising this boy right.

Yet, as I sat in that chair beside her as she spoke, I felt a small part of me dissipate into a pool of ache. The crack in her childhood just split by a substantial proportion. Light is no longer leaking, it’s bleeding out.  And it’s probably the first time I’ve despised its presence. Who hates light?  Me, right now. I know it’s selfish, but sigh. Motherhood hurts. This is the part you are never prepared for. The separation.

Near the end of our conversation she told me that he’s moving to Florida at the end of the school year and that he doesn’t know that she likes him.

I told her that she should always tell people how she feels. Unless their married. Or engaged. Just basically do not mimic a Julia Robert’s movie, unless it’s Runaway Bride.  (You can always run to Mama.)

The next day, my brave girl spoke her puppy love feels via a secret admirer note she wrote. It was the most precious thing ever.  I was so honored she let me read it (and to have gotten away with secretly photographing it, too.  She can kill me when she reads this blog much later in her life.) It went something like…I’ll give you my initials and if you guess who I am, I’ll admit it was me.

It was my turn to giggle like a tween, because they are in the same class. I don’t think the mystery will last long. Actually, it didn’t. He knew, but still wrote her a note back confessing he liked her too, along with his initials.

Ah, to witness puppy love as an adult…I’ll admit, it gives you the feels. It’s so innocent that you can’t help but giggle about it to your closest girlfriends. (Sorry Avayah, but in truth…those women love you too and your secret is safe with them…and anyone who reads this blog.  Eek, I’m starting to question my trustworthiness now.)

A week later and they’re in love and we’ve set the date.  Okay, not really. They’re just buds, who play xbox live together and see each other in class and that’s about it.

I knew this day would arrive at some point and I’m excited for Avayah, even if this milestone hurts.  If you see me, hug me and tell me that I’ll survive my daughter’s first love.  (and ignore me when I start singing, “I loved her first..”)

Because obviously, this is about me.  Not Avayah at all.

Tis Motherhood.

Author: Sarah Black

I'm a self-professed 'Drama Mama'...of four daughters, I blog to (over)share my stories on learning to maintain my sanity by strictly eating laughter in the emotional land of motherhood while trying to keep my husband from running away from the sheer amount of estrogen flooding our house.

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