Monday, June 11, 2007

A Child's First "Break-Up"

My twelve year-old had her first boyfriend this year. This is a boy she goes to school with, in the same grade and he lives very close to us. I am friends with his mother and after several lectures and threats the guidelines to this infant relationship were set.

Two short months later my daughter and I start to hear from other children that her boyfriend is telling them that he is going to break-up with her. The next time I saw the boy I asked him if this was true. He smiled a cocky little smile and said, "Yes".

"When were you going to tell her?". I asked

"When I get to it.", he replied.

"Consider it gotten to!", I barked.

So I talk to my daughter thinking (like an idiot) that this will not phase her but the second the words left my mouth I could see her beautiful little heart sink. I could see her fighting to keep the tears back and it ripped my heart out. I put my arms around her and told her how sorry I was. I also told her that it was not my place to end her relationship and that perhaps she should talk to him and find out what was happening.

She did and he apologized to her and to me. He said that the other kids were giving him a hard time and he just wanted to shut them up. I again told my daughter that what she did was up to her and to my dismay (which I kept to myself) she gave him a second chance.

My heart swelled with pride and I realized just how much my daughter listened to me when , while having my ear plastered to the other side of the front door, I heard her tell him, "If you ever disrespect me like that again I'll replace you with someone bigger, stronger and way better looking!"

So in the end I guess things worked out but I will never forget the rage and helplessness I felt when I saw the hurt in my little girl's eyes and for the first time I truly realized that I can't fix all the problems and I can't keep them safe from all the pain. All I can do is be there to listen and give them my lap to cry in while I plan the torture and dismemberment of whomever caused it (secretly of course). ;-)