Love in the first grade

Doesn’t time fly? It only seems like last week that I was taking my little girl to school, helping her to eat her breakfast before getting dressed in the morning, then hurriedly fastening her into her booster seat before we headed off. Surely it wasn’t that long ago that I could play silly games with her which would inevitably end up with me tickling her on the floor? The last ten years have passed by so quickly and I can wish and wish, but those days are long gone and I’ll never get them ba……

Hang on a minute! Fraboo is still just five and it was just last week that I took her to school, so what has happened to cause me to think my life is disappearing before my very eyes? Well that’s an easy one. She has noticed boys! Or to be more accurate, she has noticed that boy’s can be a little bit more than just playmates, and she has set her sights very high indeed. In fact the, little boy who has become the focus of her attention is the fastest runner in her class (and when you’re five, what else really matters?).

She is absolutely besotted. She has taken to wearing particular dresses when she thinks he may be at certain events we go to, and will usually put on a pretty necklace or some other piece of jewellery in the hope that he will see her. She’s desperately hoping he’ll notice her without trying to draw too much attention to herself, but while she’s playing it cool, he’s playing football. I’ve talked with her and discussed why she likes him, unfortunately I can’t write what she told me as the conversation occurred in secret (sorry) but she is experiencing some very complex emotions. I tried to explain to her that she doesn’t need a boy to give her an identity and that she has the rest of her life to find “the one”. I even talked to her about her favourite movie heroines, one in particular who doesn’t want a husband or boyfriend, but she pointed out that this young girl also didn’t want to be a Princess so that didn’t count! Most of the movies she enjoys though, have a female character, who either supports the hero, or gains strength from their prince.

Mrs L. is very keen to work out what has caused her to feel like this. I’m quite sure that her peers are beginning to influence her more than ever before, and the fact that Fraboo’s best friend has recently gained a boyfriend may well be significant. I’m also fairly certain that our daughter knows her own mind, but maybe I’m kidding myself.

To my mind though, an equally, if not more important issue is what we do now. As parents our principal duty is to protect our children, but they also have to experience life, and taking tiny steps into the world of relationships could well be a really important life lesson. Our own perception of relationships can be so easily clouded by our own experiences, yet in this situation, these are simply two five year olds, one of whom is probably happily oblivious to the affections of the other, and even if he isn’t, so what? They can enjoy each other’s company, spend time playing together and just being friends. Surely this is a purer relationship than many adults have with each other. I’m not sure that I would be in any hurry for my daughter to have a boyfriend, but then her definition of boyfriend would be vastly different to mine.

In all likelihood their relationship will run its course and this time next week, she’ll be back to playing with her Lego without a care in the world but if not I’ve got plenty of time to work on a father of the bride speech.