Growing Up and Heartbreak

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My husband and I went and played some pool last week, sometime near Valentine's Day. The pool tables were located inside a bowling alley and for a Wednesday night it was really bustling, especially with teenagers. I watch hordes of them filter in and out and as I observed I began to think of how I would have labeled them in High School. That dude over there with the tight T-shirt and big muscles he flexed unnecessarily before rolling his bowling ball, definitely a jock. Those two grubby looking guys with the super long hair and slouchy hats, the skaters. Then there were the popular girls with lots of makeup and gorgeous hair gabbing absentmindedly in a big group, while a group of quieter girls looked over at them with occasional annoyance, or maybe jealousy. There were a few teenage couples as well. One boy and girl sat alone at a table engaged in a lively conversation. Another teenage couple kissed and hugged every moment they got in between bowling.

It was certainly interesting seeing all these very different teens from an adult perspective, with their body language and dress and hair and other means they used to identify themselves to others. But all I could think as I watched them was, "I am so glad I'll never be a teenager again!" I've thought many times that I'm so glad that trying time is over. That crushes and heartbreak is over. Only, yesterday I realized it's not over. On Valentine's Day this year, my 11 year old son was given this big teddy bear by a girl in his class:

It was so unexpected for me, him bringing home this giant token of 'like' from a girl. He told me I needed to take him to get her something as well because he likes her too. So we went and bought a gift for her worthy of that teddy bear. I didn't think much more of it till yesterday when I was thinking about our upcoming move to Texas.

My 11 year old is not old enough that it will be absolutely devastating to move away, but once again we are uprooting our children and making them leave their friends behind. We first moved away from Baltimore when they were 8, 7 and 3 and my son still talks about the friends he misses there. Now he's older and leaving behind friends and a crush. So though my own personal days of young love and heartbreak are over, my heart is still going to get broken.

My children will have friends and likes and loves that will filter in and out of their lives, whether through moving or misunderstandings and pain or simply the way we all change as we grow. And every time they lose someone they care about, every time their hearts break, mine will break too.

I remember the night when my first boyfriend, my first real love was leaving to serve an LDS Mission. We said our good bye's out on the front lawn, knowing it would be at least 2 years before we saw each other again. We gave each other one final hug and then he drove away. I wanted him to serve this mission more than anything. I knew it would be good for him and for others but it was so hard to let him go. The moment his car disappeared from view I broke down. As I opened the front door I found my mom standing there and she immediately drew me into a tight embrace and held me as I sobbed. How her heart must have been breaking too.

I'm not looking forward to the heartaches my children will face, but I'm grateful I've been through some of my own so I'll be able to comfort and reassure them when they need it.


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