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My Kid Has a Crush and It’s Not On Me

Did the title sound a little too Oedipus-ish? Oops, my bad.

What I mean is, I’ve always been the special lady in Boy Wonder’s life. My happiness was his happiness and vice versa. If a parent and child could share one heart or something, we’d be sharing it.

About a week ago I learned my boy has a crush; like a real schoolboy crush – the first of its kind for him. With adorable puppy dog yearning he’s attempting to conceal his dopey love haze but his new and somewhat frightening obsession with his hair says it all.

He won’t talk about the lucky lady so I stand back as the other woman and wonder. Does she like him too? Does she know his name? Is she kind? Gosh, I hope so. Or maybe I don’t. Gee, I don’t know how I feel.

This is strange and amazing territory for me as a mother. I don’t think elementary kids need to couple up or anything but I remember those first crushy feelings of lovesick love. The embarrassment. The excitement. The wondering.

In so many ways my heart swells with bittersweet pride over the tween he’s on the verge of becoming. My boy, the same kid who still sleeps with his baby blanket and enjoys Wonder Pets with his little brother is caught between kid and man-child. While it’s equal parts heartwarming and heartbreaking to witness this transition, the mom in me is realizing this is the first of many lessons in letting go.

If I could protect my boy from the evils of unrequited love I might dare take a stab at it but every love lesson has to be learned the hard way. For a soul as tender and sensitive as his, I’m hoping his love lessons – the good and the bad – serve as beautiful life sparks for his artistic soul.

I stand back. I watch. I wonder.

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