Dear Love Bug (ironic considering the topic of this letter…),
Just a few day ago I had the good fortune of being one of the parents in attendance at your 1st grade Valentine’s Day party! During those 90 minutes or so that I was there with you and your other classmates, I soaked in all of the joy and giggles and innocence possible. I was reminded how much fun this special day is for you kiddos. And, I was reminded of my undying love for those darn conversation heart candies…man those are tasty…but that’s another letter for another day!
At my station, we sugared you all up on candy laced popcorn and sat you down on the checkered rug to read stories about Valentine’s Day. You all munched your snacks enthusiastically and politely listened as another mama and I read you stories of kitty cats in love, toy cars in love, and even monsters in love. Ahhh…L-O-V-E…isn’t it grand?
As you and your classmates rotated from station to station, I couldn’t help but remember a conversation you and I had just a few weeks back … (cue the flashback music and blurred transition screen a-la Wayne’s World here…)
(Disclaimer: all names have been changed to protect childhood innocence here.)
You: “Mama, I am going to marry Johnny when I grow up.”
Me: “Huh? You’re six. Why are you even thinking about that?”
You: “Well, Suzy told me that you have to find someone to marry when you are young.”
Me: (In my head: No play dates with Suzy!) “Well, Suzy is 6 just like you and marriage should be the farthest thing from your mind. But, what made you choose Johnny?”
You: “Well, someday I want to have kids…”
Me: (Shutting that down with a hypocritical interruption): “LIKE 30 YEARS from now…!”
You: (Giving me a tween-like eye roll): “…and Johnny makes me laugh, so he will make my kids laugh too…just like Daddy makes us laugh now.”
Me: ………….Stunned in silence…………….
You: “But don’t worry! We will wait until we are at least 16, and we are going to get married in Johnny’s backyard because he says it would be embarrassing to get married in front of a bunch of people.”
Me: (Having NO idea where to go with the conversation at this point) “Ok then. Did you ever find your other shoe this morning?” (Fortunately, 6 year olds are still pretty easy to derail…)
I have thought about this conversation more than you can possibly know baby girl, and quite frankly, I am not sure if I should applaud your foresight and the thought you put into your selection of a partner in this life, or be horrified by the fact that you clearly understand a whole lot more about THAT whole process than I ever thought you would at the age of six. And yes, because you are just 6, I will give you the benefit of the doubt and hope that all of this marriage talk is an innocent part of the pretend-play phase. I mean, I am a fan of Johnny…and I like his parents…maybe we could be family someday…but I digress.
What ever happened to the whole “boys have cooties” childhood phase? Did we skip that, or have we not gotten to it yet? PLEASE tell me it has yet to come.
For now, your perception of love should be defined by how you feel about your little brother, your favorite stuffed animal, your daddy and me. Ok, yes…kittens, toy cars, and monsters too. Your perception of love certainly shouldn’t be you feeling the need to find someone “while you are young…”
Your future holds so many adventures, my love. Adventures that will test you, challenge you, make you grow, and define who your are…your spirit and your substance. You will fall in and out of “love” along the way, but my true wish for you is that those highs and lows teach you how to love yourself unconditionally.
“LOVE” will happen. You have to trust me on this one. Yes, I do hope that someday you find someone who loves you for all of your strengths and despite your weaknesses (…and who knows…maybe it will be Johnny). You better know that I hope you make me a grandma some day, but MANY, MANY years from now. So, for now, just enjoy the candy hearts, the valentine cards with the super cool tattoos, and the “pinkness” of it all, because you are six, and six goes by way too fast. Plus, “pinkness” is way too fun!
I LOVE you – in the purest of ways,
Photography by: Dream Photography Studio