Family Newsletters and Heartbreak
My friend told me about a family newsletter she got over the holidays that talked about her four year-old’s “first heartbreak”. First, get ready. Second, give me a break. My youngest had her first heartbreak the Monday before Christmas break when her boyfriend of over a year, Marky Mark, broke up with her during passing period between second and third period. It was that quick. She said, Are you breaking up with me? And he said, yes. Well, thanks for the time to get my feelings out. I picked her up at lunch and she sobbed for about three days. They got back together on the 6th day. They were together just over a month when he broke up with her again. This time he invited her over for dinner, they hung out and watched movies for two hours, and then when he walked her to the door, he walked out to the porch and told her they needed to take a break. Like Ross on Friends?
Actually, here’s how it went. They walked upstairs, he got her the peach cobbler his mom had made for her, and walked her out to the porch, I was in my car in front of the house. He said, we need to take a break, ala Ross, and she said, You are unbelievable. He said if they still have feelings in a month or so they can talk about getting back together. Tenderheart handed him back the peach cobbler and said, I guess I won’t be needing that and walked to the car sobbing. You’d think she’d be expecting it at that point, but she wasn’t. They’d actually had a really good weekend. When she told me what he said about waiting a month or so, I was like, Eff no. You’re no one’s back up girl. You’re not an option. You’re Tenderheart and you’re amazing and he should be so lucky to be dating you. But I don’t think she heard anything I said through her tears. And he had two hours to do it and let her get all her feelings out, but he was a coward and literally did it as she was walking out the door.
So that was Sunday. Wednesday, he picked up a “friend” for school and took her to Starbucks where everyone who was there reported back to Tenderheart that he had moved on very quickly. That night he told her he was staying single for a long time because he was so hurt. The following day she found out he has two more dates for this weekend with two girls, one the girl from Wednesday and one a new one. Both girls “friends” of Tenderheart’s. Both of them very vocal about the fact that he didn’t treat Tenderheart very well, he was mean. Well, he wasn’t at the beginning, he was very sweet, attentive, maybe it was all an act. She kept trying to get back to that point when he was sweet and went out of his way to say nice things, wrote her sweet notes, and really was attentive towards her, but she just couldn’t.
I don’t know what happened, maybe it got to be too much, they’re very young. Not four year-olds like my friend’s friend, but young. Maybe he was always mean and had everyone fooled. The Shines weren’t fooled though. Moon and Sun realized he was just like their dad and haven’t liked him for a while. Looking back he was secretive and wasn’t always honest. He was controlling and made her feel bad if she wore something he deemed “too revealing”. If anyone knows Tenderheart, they know she dresses modestly. I kept giving him the benefit of the doubt, they’re young, they’re just figuring out relationship stuff, she needs to stand up for herself more, but like she said, he really is unbelievable.
And listen, I really like the kid, he was part of our family for over a year, but she’s no backup girl. And why the false hope? I’d rather he was just mean and rip the bandaid off so she didn’t have any kind of hope. I mean, she doesn’t today after she heard about the two dates, but she had hope yesterday when he said he still loved her and would date her in the future, he was going to stay single for a long time. He said, if it’s meant to be, it will be. Blah, blah, blah, blah.
Here’s my problem. I get caught up in the story. They went to preschool together and then 12 years later they went to a masquerade party at the place where they went to preschool. His mom made them go in and get a picture.
Circumstances brought them together over the years, soccer parties, we moved and it turned out they were in the same grade school. They both moved to the same charter school, his mom actually helped me get my younger two kids into the school. They went to different middle schools but the first football game they went to as high school freshmen, they happened to be standing next to each other on the bleachers. She was wearing a bandanna and he recognized her but couldn’t remember her name and called her bandanna girl all night. He walked her out of the stadium and waited until I got there because he didn’t want her waiting alone. A fight broke out and he moved her to where it was safe and said he wouldn’t leave her.
He had a date to homecoming, but she turned out to be mean (interesting) and he found Tenderheart at the dance and took a selfie with her, their first picture. Then he took her to the movies, a haunted house, the amusement park, all before actually asking her out. They talked for over a month before he asked her to meet him after fifth period and asked her out. And then they made plans almost every weekend for 14 months minus the 6 days they weren’t together in December.
You hear stories like that all the time, and then they were married for 70 years. The realist in me knew it wasn’t going to be that crazy, but the romantic in me wanted her to have a good story. I wanted her to have a good first boyfriend and she did for a while. I told her relationships are about finding what you want in the next person. Her next person will be sweet, attentive, open, honest, and won’t be coming for a really long time because Tenderheart’s heart is broken. Not the kind of heartbreak my friend’s friend’s four year-old had that made it to the family newsletter, but actually heartbroken. Like her heart hurts. She just starts crying and can’t stop. She makes my heart hurt because she is my heart, walking outside my body and her heart was already tender and now it’s broken.
And I’m serious when I say, I wish no ill-will toward him. I think he’ll figure out who he’s going to be and maybe the next person won’t put up with him being mean for so long, but why does the next person have to come so quickly? Can’t there be a moratorium on dating based on how long you’ve been together especially now in the age of social media when everyone is watching what everyone is doing? Why do males move on so fast? And believe me when I say, everyone is so excited to give her updates on what Marky Mark’s doing, everyone’s a busy body, it’s really disgusting. She has two friends who were actually at the Starbucks three days after they broke up and he was with the new girl and he asked them if they wanted a ride to school and they said, nope. Then they didn’t even tell Tenderheart what they saw, but everyone else did. She’s been praying every night for a snow day so she gets a break from it, but we don’t live out east and it was like 60 today. Next week though is a three day week and then we’re going to Oklahoma for the long weekend. Hopefully that’s just the break she needs to realize she’s better off and that she’ll be okay and that her great story hasn’t even started yet, he was just a short chapter, a lesson learned, and her best chapters are yet to come.
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