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I don't want my boy to have a broken heart

They say you never forget your first love. Well, that's probably true. There is something just so intoxicating and surreal about falling in love for the first time.

I remember the first time I began thinking that not all the boys in my class were nasty, dirty, smelly, intolerable creatures who would stab me in the arm with their compass as quick as they'd look at me, or burp loudly as I hurriedly scuttled past, hoping they wouldn't notice me.

There was one boy, in fact, who was handsome, reserved and wore cool clothes. He was also polite and earnest and didn't take pleasure in pushing girls off their seats when the teacher wasn't looking.


I think I must have fancied him a lot because at Mass I used to try to always stand in front of him and look forward to the priest asking everyone to shake hands. It was my excuse to turn around and make actual physical contact with him and then I wouldn't wash my hand for ages afterwards.

I remember that same boy made me a bracelet and inscribed my name on it. I wore it with pride and was the envy of the class. I was young at the time, around 11. It was the year I had my first kiss. He gave me a quick peck on the cheek in front of all my friends and I nearly died of embarrassment.

But I look back with such fond memories. It was a sweet love, a memory that I cherish.

I sometimes worry about my son and all that lies ahead of him. I fret that one day he will meet somebody who could potentially break his heart.

Teenage girls can be particularly cruel and I'd hate him to ask somebody to dance and for her to turn around and laugh in his face.

It's too awful to imagine him writing somebody a love letter that she could fire in the bin.


I'm already dreading his first disco. I went to Wesley disco when I was 14. I was all excited about going and somebody asked me to dance. I stood up, and the guy who had asked me to dance sat down in my seat and started laughing at me, and so did his friends.

I was so shocked because I couldn't believe somebody would be so nasty.

Now, as I walk past that same disco, pushing my son Gary's stroller, I dread to think that in 10 years' time he'll be putting pressure on me to attend.

My son is only three and he has already fallen in love with the girl next door. She is four and has him wrapped around her little finger. She calls around to ask if he can play and immediately he starts jumping up and down in excitement. He picks daisies for her in the garden and offers her his sweets. When she shouts at him, he gets upset and when she praises him his little face lights up. His admiration for the boisterous, beautiful little girl next door knows no bounds and he is happy to let her know it.

He has no idea how to play hard to get. Hopefully, this is just a passing phase.