On this, the last day of school, my son’s heart was broken by a flippant 10-year-old little minx named Kiley. Joe has had a crush on this girl almost the entire school year, and he’d finally gotten up the courage to let her know. “She’s pretty and smart, Mom,” he beamed. And they were friends. Then Kiley found out that Joe liked her in a boy-girl kind of way, and suddenly everything changed.

At first, she didn’t know what to say, and then she told Joe she thought he was “weird.” Oh, the look on his face. It was as if someone had just slapped all the happy out of him. He didn’t know how to react. “Sorry, I like someone else,” would have been a less than favorable response, but it was preferable to, “You’re weird.”

Joe’s friend came up and put an arm over his shoulder. “It gets easier, dude,” the boy nodded in a studly fashion. “It’s hard when they turn you down, though,” he offered. The wisdom of this child’s years told me that he had broken many a heart. I secretly giggled at his bravado, but was glad that he could be there for Joe.

I hated to see my boy hurt, but this was all part of growing up, and it certainly wasn’t anything that the rest of us had not been through at one time or another. Still, Joe had other wonderful girls interested in him over his vast tenure at the local elementary school. They saw something special in him that Kiley just didn’t see. Perhaps she was overwhelmed by the attention of Joe’s feelings suddenly becoming so public; he hadn’t been too weird to be her friend before that. But isn’t that always the way it works –- the one you love (or, for 4th grade purposes, the one you are in “serious like” with) is never the one who loves you back? Until you get married, that is, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post.

Joe says he’s not ready to move on and now consoles himself with cold Yoo-hoos and his new Wii. But something tells me that there’s a 5th grade girl out there just waiting for my little weirdo. And she will be very lucky to have found him.

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