Recently, I have connected with some childhood friends, and have been reminded of my first love. It was interesting because I didn’t remember much about it until friends and I reminisced over stories. Songs, like signposts, directed my thoughts to places traversed lifetimes ago.
I was only 13 years old in middle school, and this boy was just finishing high school. (Yes you heard it correctly – now I know why my mom was worried). But, at the time, everything about this love felt innocent and important. Even though I don’t remember kissing this boy, I do remember the horrors of being dumped. He said he needed to give attention to his studies as he was moving to another town to attend the University. But what is rational is not always plausible when crushes are involved. I was heart broken.
Now, years later, I was surprised to find that the intensity of all those feelings, such as rejection and self-consciousness, returned with clarity. My memories were bittersweet, because while I fondly recalled my first experience with being in love, rejection was still hard to reconcile. In hindsight, I see how the power of connection with this first love relationship set the groundwork for how I deal with others, and how I handle rejection or acceptance.
Now, as a mother, I am reminded of how intense these experiences can be for young adolescents. Reflecting on our own experiences as teenagers in love must be valued if we want to understand the spectrum of emotions that our kids will inevitably go through.
Do you remember your first love and what really happened? What were your feelings like? How did your early experiences with love shape the way you model loving relationships for your children?
Image available under cc license by D Sharon Pruitt
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