Thursday, February 6, 2020

The First Real Crush

So... I experienced a 'mommy first' yesterday that I wasn't entirely prepared for. When I got home from my trip, I lay down on the couch for a bit and Syrena suddenly came to sit down next to me. She asked if I had time to talk.

"Remember my crush?" she asked. "Yes," I answered a little hesitantly, not knowing what was coming. "Well, I wrote him a note yesterday and asked him if he likes me back." My heart instantly panicked.

I still remember my first real-life crush. My only crush up until that time was Tom Cruise and it was weird that I was getting butterflies looking at this young boy in my class who couldn't even speak any of the languages that I knew.

He couldn't speak English or German. He was from Bosnia. And he was obsessed with Michael Jackson. But he had this smile that melted my heart. And every time I couldn't get something done in class, he'd rush to my side to help. His name was Sead. I was in Grade 4, the same grade my daughter is currently in now.

Did he like me back? I have no idea. Because 9-year-old Anj was exactly the same as the Anj of today: insecure, awkward, shy, and utterly crap around guys that she likes.

"What did he say?" I asked, masking my worry. "HE SAID HE LIKES ME, TOO!!!" she said with a huge grin on her face. I didn't know how to feel. How can my little baby girl have already reached this milestone in her life? "And then I met his friends," she continued. "And I wrote him a long love letter after school."

Just. Like. That.

Just like that, my daughter had opened up her heart to some older kid I barely knew. Just like that, she expressed her feelings without worrying about any potential consequences. Just like that, she put herself out there - a kind of confidence and strength I could only wish I had.

Tomorrow is Syrena's 10th birthday and here I am, worrying about the day that she experiences her first heartbreak. I'm glad it didn't happen while I was away, but I'm still worried about the day when it does.

So many things went through my head when she was telling me about him. I wanted to tell her not to be too clingy and not to come on too strong. I wanted to tell her that things like that tend to scare guys away. I wanted to tell her to be cautious and careful and to guard her heart at all times. But I didn't.

I didn't because I don't want to ruin her current happiness so early on. I didn't because I want her to experience things on her own. I didn't because I don't want my negativity with men affect her own lovelife. I didn't because I was scared that if I get too involved, she might not open up to me with stories like this anymore.

Growing up, I never had anyone to run to with my stories of the heart. My mom and I were never close, and my sister hated me. I crushed in secret and loved in secret and cried in secret and fell apart in secret. I don't want that for her.

I want Syrena to know that she can run to me for anything: the happiness, the kilig, the sadness, and the pain. And if that means supporting everything she decides to do wholeheartedly while worrying in secret, then that's what I'll do. Besides, if that kid doesn't like her for who she is - clinginess, weirdness, and over-the-top-ness included - then he can go love himself.

1 comment:

  1. heartfelt and nice, anak. let her be, just like i let you be. stay in the shadows; she'll be the better for it. love
    you two!