Do you remember your first love? Oh my…that feeling…the excitement, the flutters, the heart-pounding knowledge that someone outside of your family cared about you. I remember mine well. I was 17. Crazy. It was heady, that feeling. It was breath-taking, that first taste of romance. Finally I was one of the girls whose boyfriend would be waiting outside the classroom door to walk me to my next class. Finally, I was one of the girls who had notes slid into her locker. Finally I was one of the girls who had plans on Friday and Saturday nights. Finally I was one of the girls who didn’t have to stand there fearfully waiting at the beginning of each song to see if someone would ask me to dance. Finally I understood what making out was all about. Oh, that first love. You never get it back again…well, most of us anyways.
I remember those walks between classes. I remember rides in his truck to lunch, listening to The Outfield and Janet Jackson. I remember movie dates, and hanging out at home. I remember two-hour-long phone calls that went well past my lights-out time. I remember drives on the back roads in his daddy’s Porsche. I remember feeling so special. And I remember the breakup. What a little idiot I was.
And that first heartbreak. So much pain. So much hurt. I physically ached. I cried more tears than I thought possible. And just when I thought I was done crying, it would hurt all over again. I am thankful that pain is not my last memory of him. We became friends later. And we even had our chance to try it again when we were a bit older and wiser. There are no “what-if’s,” thank goodness.
Gracie is 11. I sit there watching movies and TV shows with her in which first loves are involved. It kills me . I see her face and can almost imagine what’s going through her head. I know what’s coming for her. I know she will have that first love, and in some ways, I am envious of her. I wish I still had that innocence sometimes. I wish I still had that feeling to look forward to. And my heart aches knowing she will have to endure that first heartbreak.
Her favorite commercial right now is for some jewelry store in which proposal after proposal flashes across the screen. Her favorite movie is Pride & Prejudice. While she is not old enough to be moved the way I and my friends are by the scene in which Mr. Darcy walks up out of the lake, she is moved by the romance of it.
There are times I wish I could protect her from the extreme high and extreme low of those two firsts…..I know that they will help shape her. I don’t remember if I let my parents comfort me. I have two journals full of post-breakup letters, so I imagine not. I hope she will let me be there for her, not to offer advice or tell her my story, but just to hug and love her through it.
Would you go back and do it again…have that first love all over even if it meant facing that first breakup and heartbreak?