being there for first crushes

As many of you know by now, last week’s tabloid headlines had the potential to generate massive chaos and upheaval in our home. Yes, I’m talking about the Biebs’ arrest and subsequent DUI.

I normally sleep with my phone next to me, turned over with the sound off. For whatever reason, the night before JB’s late-night escapades, I slept with the phone turned right side up. This meant, that when the E Online text alert came over my phone at 3:30 am, I saw it right away.

“Wait a minute,” you may be thinking, “Doesn’t she sleep with an eye mask and ear plugs? Why would she see the text alert on her phone?” And of course, you’d be right.

As many of you know, my bedtime getup is quite elaborate. My goal is to remove both  sense of sight and sense of sound in order to get a peaceful night’s sleep. Blame it on years of our apartment in the city being conveniently located next to the UPS facility, or enduring twin babies’ middle of the night feedings, but years ago I decided I would Take Back The Night. Just like Kelly and Donna did at CU their freshman year during the TBTN marches, except they were protesting violence against women and wrongly accusing Steve of date rape and I’m protesting, uh….oh snap.

But back to the all-important Bieber Alert on my phone.

I won’t lie. It caused me some anguish about how I was going to break the news to Miss J. After all, she was planning to marry JB and I couldn’t predict how she’d react. And she surprised me by taking it extremely well.

“That’s okay. I guess it’s kinda good that I already took down the posters of him in my room,” she shrugged.

We discussed how it’s still okay to like his music and how that can be different from still “liking” (or in this case, loving) him. We talked about bad choices and how people need to learn from them. And how we want to give people second chances to redeem themselves. Let me be very clear: She still loves his music though. And that’s perfectly fine with me. I cherish our one-on-one chats in her room when I go to tuck her in or wake her up, now more than ever.

I’ve been very vocal with the guys and Miss J about my first crush in 5th grade. P was everything a girl of 11 could dream of: cute, good hair, good at kickball and loved the 49ers. He was also extremely shy and possibly totally not interested in me. I hung in for the entire school year of 5th grade and my love for him never wavered. I was finally rewarded for my commitment just 5 minutes before the final bell rang on the last day of school before summer vacation when I received a message from his friend to my friend (this is how we communicated in 1982) that he was asking me to go with him.

Z: “But go where? Where did you go?”

Me: “Going together meant agreeing to like each other and be boyfriend and girlfriend,” I explain as if this is perfectly obvious.

C: “But I don’t get it. Did you go places together?”

And that’s when I explain what going together in 5th grade more than thirty years ago (shit, really?) truly meant: it meant that you both liked each other but had essentially entered into a known agreement whereby he wouldn’t acknowledge you at school and you wouldn’t acknowledge him at school, but where you’d talk on the phone at night for hours.  I realize this makes no sense whatsoever to my kids. But I like sharing these stories from my youth and adolescence and opening the door for open and honest communication.

I know I might not always be able to be there for them. That’s the shitty part about  cancer. While my prognosis is certainly good, and we’re moving forward in a positive but slow direction and no one doubts that I will recover from this episode (including me!), cancer is like jury duty: it’s always there, in the background, and no one knows when or if, my name will be called again.

[Side note: I actually was just called for jury duty. Go figure!]

The other thing about being there for my kids is factoring in the possibility that they won’t allow me to be there for them. I’m talking about not sitting next to me at the movies, opting to take the bus home instead of my picking them up, and the normal signs and stages of adolescence. I totally get this and as my parents can attest, I was no different. My mom fondly recalls the year I turned 15 and  rejoined her on mindless errands just so I could drive with my newly acquired learner’s permit as The Year That Ended The “Hunger Strike” – of me starving them out of my life.

So in the meantime, I’ve got a lot on my plate: say buh-bye to breast cancer STAT and continue to share with my kids the wonders and joys of the life that they have ahead of them. Which includes first crushes and heartache.




4 Responses

  1. Mom C …..yes….I loved that year when you were 15 and we drove everywhere together. Can we spend days doing errands together again even though you’re 42 and I’m 67??? Love just being with you!! xoxoxoxox

    1. Love reading this one! Brings back memories of my 6 th grade boyfriend J G. He was so romantic and a great gift giver. I remember the jeweled fountain pen and perfume from Woolworth’s called “My Love”
      I wore it to school everyday day for a month.

  2. I recently learned how to receive auto emails when a blogger posts. Welcome to this century, I know! Thank you for sharing your journey. I truly look forward to your posts. xo

  3. Today I told Miss J more about R, my 6th grade boyfriend. I had told her before that he was mean to me and used to chase me home from school. My mom said that was because he really liked me and didn’t know how to act. So the update is that R and I became friends on FB and I recently sent him a message that said “hi from your 6th grade girlfriend”. He sent me a message back that he always remembered those days as great times. I still have his traffic crossing guard hat in my scrapbook. So…..yes….I agree with you that we never forget first crushes!! xoxoxo

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