Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Childhood Sweethearts

Childhood sweethearts – that first time we feel the stirrings of romantic feelings – is a magical time in which pangs of heart-felt emotions touches us in a way that we’ll remember the rest of our lives and will shape our future in the romance department. Where boyfriends or girlfriends come and go as we grow up and eventually have families of our own, it’s that childhood sweetheart that we remember most. It’s something about our first real young love that we recall with fond memories because it is the first love that was genuine and bittersweet. Our heart is but a virgin organ until our childhood sweetheart walks into our life and changes our lives forever. It is that first love that we carry with us throughout life, never forgetting those sweet moments of innocence. They leave with us a legacy that time cannot erase.

Everyone remembers their first kiss and the first time they had intimate, physical relations, but do you remember your first childhood sweetheart where there were no pressures on either side? Why is it that this one sweetheart is unforgettable of all the other relationships you’ll ever have?

As we get older and fall in and out of love, it’s that one soul mate, that first soul mate – whether you are seven or seventy-seven – that introduces you to what it feels like to be in love. The reason why it is so memorable and so magical is that this is the time when you love someone outside of the family circle and it stirs emotions that are new to you, yet oh-so-wonderful. While it leaves you with many confused feelings because it is your first, it makes you feel alive like never before.

Just like any other kind of soul mate, our childhood sweetheart will, in time, leave us to embark on their own life journey, but they leave with us an urge to experience that same feeling with someone else again. It is that first experience with love that gets the ball rolling in a quest to recapture that exhilirous feeling of having someone love you and you giving love in return.
As a child growing up on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and then in Burbank, California, I was painfully shy. If a boy were to so much as say hi to me, I’d run. However, I found that boys didn’t want anything to do with girls at this stage so the most contact I had with them was trying to beat them up for different, odd-like things that boys of a young age do.

Also, there was a stigma associated with having a boy like you and that you’d get a bad case of cooties and would have to spend the rest of your life in bed which was something close to called “the kiss of death.”

When I entered into the fourth grade, I still had this mindset that boys were to be avoided, but there was one boy who stood out from the rest. His name was Bruce (his last name escapes me). Bruce and I attended Abraham Lincoln Elementary School in Burbank, California, in the early sixties. The face escapes me, but it wasn’t so much as physical looks, but what he was as a “person” that made me rethink the cootie theory.

Bruce was well liked by everyone. I don’t recall why, but I do remember that he had this unmistakable charisma that made you want to respond to his “hi” if the situation warranted it, even as red-faced as you were.

One day, the class was playing some kind of game where you take your fist and hit the ball against this backboard and the opposing team member did the same. They might have called it handball; I’m not sure.

I was terrible at sports. But, Bruce let me win that round that day.

The feeling that gave me is so hard to put into words. I knew that he could have beaten me hands tied behind his back, but he let me win. It was that very day that confirmed that Bruce and I were soul mates. He was the first boy in my whole short life who wanted to see me do something great and feel good about myself and that stuck with me the rest of my life.

I never found out what happened to Bruce, yet every now and then, I’d get this urge to see if I could find him. Internet searches turned up not much as I didn’t have a last name to go by, yet I’ve always had this urge to want to contact him. Why? I’m not even sure, except maybe to thank him for showing me a side of the opposite sex that was quite surprising, even for a nine-year-old.

Another reason I think he holds a candle to my heart could be that he was a part of my past – a part of my past I will never be able to capture except in my memories. And it is that past that people want to hold on to as it’s part of their history – part of them that shows them who they were at one time and, although our past has a lot to do with who we are today, they can never relive.

We can’t go backwards in time, but it’s those small things about our past that stand out more than the rest. It is our childhood sweethearts that we hold a special place in our heart and which shapes our future relationships in more ways than you’ll ever realize.

Do you have a childhood sweetheart that still holds a candle to your heart? If so, please email me at thewriterslife@yahoo.com or leave a comment here. There is a section in my book on soul mates (and another book in the works) that explains how our childhood sweethearts have an influence on our lives. If you would like to tell me your story, and would like to be interviewed, please let me know. It's an important part of our lifetime of relationships and my books will show you why. Thanks!


  1. Nope, no childhood sweetie here... but I have found my soul mate in my Cheri, so. :)

  2. Og I remember him well - his name is Owen and he stole(and broke) my heart. Mostly good memories though :)

  3. I must have been born a romantic - from the moment I entered kindergarten, I had some kind of innocent "love interest" every year I was in school. And I still remember the excitement of each one. :)

  4. I really don't recall any little girls from elementary school who caught my eye. I remember a couple who used to sit across from me at lunch and kick me under the table.

    If it didn't concern a little round or onblong ball it didn't garner a lot of my attention at that age. ;)

  5. I don't remember any childhood sweethearts- but lots and lots of unrequited crushes! I'm not sure things have changed that much.


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