Here's the thing: I thought kids "fell in love" in first grade, maybe second or third. I did not expect to pick up my daughter Lucy from preschool only to have her announce, without hesitation, "I am in love with Oscar."
"Hold on!" I nearly had to stop the car; I couldn't find my breath. There's no instruction manual for when a 5 year-old says she's in love. I know it's all innocence and Frozen valentines with sticker hearts, but LOVE? When did we skip LIKE and crushes and handholding? I cleared my throat. "Do you mean you love him because he's your friend? Or you love him like you want to...kiss him?" It's the best I could come up with.
Her cheeks flushed and she looked out the window. "Like I want to kiss him," she whispered wistfully.
At this point, thankfully, her sister Charlie piped in. "You love Oscar like you want to marry him like Mommy and Daddy. Because Oscar is your best friend." Thank god for the 3 year-old perspective. In two short years how would it be so different?
"NO. I love Oscar like a BOYFRIEND!" Lucy huffed and crossed her arms, her signature move.
"Okay sweetie. Okay." I put on Let it Go and all conversation of love was set aside.
Later I would talk to Oscar's mom and we both agreed it was innocent and cute. Apparently Charlie had asked Oscar's little brother Jimmy to marry her (I guess she wanted to keep it in the family?), but he said no. After school ended the girls saw less and less of Oscar and Jimmy. I suppose they'll find new lads to fall in love with in London when we move there this summer.
A few days after the Oscar love declaration nearly gave me a heart attack, Lucy and her sister Charlie would marry each other. It was a small ceremony at their grandparent's house, officiated by Mr. Puppy and witnessed by Anna and Elsa. My sense of innocence was restored.
But the next boy (bloke?) who comes around better be prepared. Mama Bear is in the know about this whole L-O-V-E thing, kids, and she's watching.
Has your child been "in love"? What's your take on it?