My First Crush

This is me at 8 years old, around the time I had my first crush. Ladies love missing teeth.

I hope you remember your first crush. I sure do.

In the greater scheme of things, the first crush means nothing. It’s puppy love, nothing more. But I think it’s one of the first times–if not the first time–that we get to experience a feeling that we’re fully aware of and yet we don’t understand at all. It’s confusing and wonderful at the same time. I think that’s why it sticks in our memories.

My first crush was Rebecca G in second grade.

Sure, I had little playground crushes before that, but nothing like this. She had golden blonde hair, a beautiful smile, and she radiated kindness. I was sure we were to marry.

We were in the same class, but we barely knew one another. I was too shy to talk to her unless we were in the same group for an activity. I remember that I once was placed in her group after counting off, but I was asked to switch to a different group because of some logistics issue. I was a very accommodating kid, so the teacher probably didn’t think it would be an issue. But I refused to switch. At least, refused until I no longer had a choice, but I did my best.

First crushes make you do things like that.

I wish I had a childhood photo of Rebecca, but instead I offer you another one of me.

I don’t remember much else about that second grade class with Rebecca G, but I do remember the one other way that I expressed my feelings to her: I pulled the chair out from under her as she went to sit down one day.

It was a terrible thing to do, and I was not a child who did terrible things like that, but it made sense at the time. I wouldn’t have done it to anyone else in the class. It was basically my way of saying, “Love me!”

Rebecca G is now married with a kid on the way (not my kid). She’s an adult, with so many years between the time of the crush–the time when I knew her–and now. So many experiences and jobs and friends and schools. So many things to bridge the gap between second grade golden girl and 31-year-old wife.

But I’ll always know her as my first crush.

Who was your first crush? How did you express your feelings to that person?