I had my first crush while in kindergarten, and my first kiss in first grade—my “reward” from a riding instructor’s very cute son for my first successful jump. May my daughter never know.
Last night, perhaps prompted by previews for The Bachelor finale, she was bemoaning the sad state of affairs of her classmates and I listened with caution, holding my breath just a bit.
It seems one close friend had broken up with her boyfriend but had recovered quickly, “becoming involved with” another boy. Another close friend was now “dating” the cast-off boyfriend. When the former boyfriend and girlfriend sat next to each other at lunch, the new girlfriend got very upset, and later argued with my daughter’s friend for allegedly trying to steal him back.
To which my daughter responded with exasperation,
“We’re in THIRD GRADE. Can’t this drama wait till we’re, like, 14 or something?”
And then they both got mad at her.
She tells me she just doesn’t get the boy-craziness that goes on all around her. Some of her friends steal kisses behind the bookshelves at the school library; meanwhile, my daughter just looks for the Judy Moody selection. At lunch, some whisper about which boy is the cutest; she whispers about which Webkinz she really wants next.
Having had my fair share of crushes growing up, part of me looks forward to having my daughter confide in me about some boy she semi-secretly likes—her first puppy love. But after hearing the extent of the drama involved, and the arguing between girls, I welcome my daughter’s absence from the fray, and her weariness of its level. I don’t recall fighting over anyone’s attention (well, not until college), and as far as I know, I only had one stolen kiss on the playground. (It probably helped that my parents sent me to a single-sex school from fifth grade-on.)
Alas, my daughter will only face co-ed schooling. I hope she retains her innocence for, well, ever—though I guess that’s impractical. But at this point I’m ready to say screw the fond memories of puppy love and hope that her wish comes true for drama-free living “till, like, 14 or something.”