I remember some of my firsts. First kiss, first boyfriend, first dance, first date, first heartbreak.  All the same boy by no fault of my own. I got better at the kissing and the dating and the dancing but up until a few years back I hadn’t quite figured out how to avoid the heartbreak part. Thank the Lord for Dave and his courage, any man who braves a first and second date with me in a gym full of very big HS wrestlers is worth keeping don’t you think?

On that magical preteen day we discover the opposite sex not only smells pretty good but also makes us feel a little fuzzy inside, we also open the door to puppy love, dear John letters (ironically the name of my boy of many firsts), broken hearts and repuppy love the next week. Nothing feels as bad as a broken heart when you’re just a kid yourself. Ok, maybe something’s do but it hurts bad and you want to crawl into bed and cry but you’re too big for that and you don’t want the world to know, especially if you’re a boy.

Remember the advice you’d get for your aching heart? advice from your friends, advice from your folks, teasing out the wazoo from your older siblings if you had them. “Nothing ventured nothing gained”, “it’s better to have loved and lost”, “time heals all wounds” “she was a bit slutty/ he was a dork anyway”….. all that happy horse crap we do not want to hear but people insist on saying and saying and saying.  


My young friend Blocky(a loving nickname given by my son) hangs out with me a few days after school until his folks are out of work. He doesn’t need a sitter although his two younger brothers do but neither he nor his folks are too comfy with him home alone too often. He’d rather be here a couple days a week. Although he’s 12 and fine home alone, I think he kind of likes the company. Today he got off the bus with a long face, his first crush has a new crush on another boy, one who’s coasted through puberty and emerged full of muscles and confidence of which poor Blocky has none 


Poor kid. Remember how much that hurts? I wasn’t sure what to say and was stumbling my way through it when the Boy wandered downstairs in search of both cold and frosty treats…it’s very hot here.

I could tell he was listening and I guess he took pity on Blocky because when I left the room (on purpose) he went in and sat down. I eavesdropped (shamelessly too) here’s pretty much what I heard:


The Boy: girls suck

Blocky: yeah

The Boy: but they’re fun

Blocky: yeah

The Boy: next year you’ll be bigger

Blocky: yeah

The Boy: sucks though

Blocky: YEAH!!! 

The Boy: next time go for the smart ones you feel comfortable with

Blocky: why?

The Boy: they make you smarter and they aren’t as shallow.

Blocky: ok, I will

The Boy: school’s over soon

Blocky: yup

The Boy: you’ll get through it, just don’t look at her and you’ll be okay  

Blocky: ok, she’s not in my classes

The Boy: good! that makes it easier. want to play Halo?

Blocky: yeah

The Boy: cool.


and they’re playing right now. Blocky’s chattering about wrestling camps (he and his brothers all wrestle because The Boy did and they look at him like an older sibling who they never see) and he’s laughing at something and I’m sitting back here typing this and letting them talk because somehow I think it may be the best way this could’ve been handled.

No mom smothering the kid with kisses, no dad saying “you’ll get back on the horse when you’re ready” and “you’ll be dumped by many more girls in your life” <<< why do people say that anyway?

just two guys in a room playing Halo and talking about  girls and camps and girls and video games and laughing.


is it that easy?

shouldn’t it be?