“Better is open rebuke than hidden love”

My daughter is in love. It’s with a little boy in her class, we’ll call him NG. He loves her back. They are five years old.

It started on the cul de sac. We live on the corner and they live three houses down. When we first moved here the dad stopped and invited us to his birthday party. We went, they had fun, and that was that.

This year, things changed a little, though. They were all playing in the street and his mom commented, “I think NG has a crush on CC.” I laughed, thinking how silly that was, until he started doing tricks on his bike, got out the refrigerator box and shouted over and over again, “Hey, look CC!” His mom and I smiled and nodded.

They’re in kindergarten together. They sit next to each other during class. At lunch she saves a seat for him, and today the main table was full, so they sat side by side, next to each other, away from everyone, happy as clams.

His mom walked in to pick him up and a slow smile crept on to her face.

One of the reasons I love this so much is I remember how lonely kindergarten was for me. I talk about it a lot in this journal, looking at CC going through that reminds me of my own experience. If I were there I would be walking alone around the play ground, not chasing my best friend around the play structure.

NG’s mom talked a little about her loneliness in high school, too. It is a complicated story which involves the cutest boy in the school liking her and the rest of the girls in the school hating her. She spoke of her place, alone in the cafeteria. It struck a nerve. She’s very pretty, very smart, and very giving. I’m not pretty, or to be fair, not very pretty, and have this weird idea that pretty people have it better in this world. From all the things she’s told me it’s apparently not true. I guess I already sort of knew that. My brother is very pretty, and has fought legions of demons. Superficially, NG’s mom dresses kinda like I do – either yoga wear or those knee length skirts. She understands loneliness. We seem to have it the same. Or similar.

Back to the children. They seem very happy. She can’t tie her shoe yet, so he does it for her. She’s still on training wheels, but he lends her his bike so she can practice without them. They love to stand in line together.

This love feels so pure. The Bible teaches, “Better is open rebuke than hidden love.” They are five; they don’t even know how to hide love. They’ve never had their hearts broken, never gotten in a fight with someone about chores. They don’t know the way to go about it is to hurt and manipulate others – lie to them, put them down. They’ve stayed clear of hurtful people, or so much as their parents can prevent it. They’ve never read “The Game” or “The Rules” They love each other so freely, it inspires me. I want to love my husband like that – I want to save him a seat and wear a bracelet he had for me. It’s beautiful.

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