“Mrs. M, they’re talking about liking people!” a student shouted across the room today, certain she had busted some seriously bad behavior.
What she didn’t realize is that I have a soft spot for fourth grade love stories. No, I do not encourage ten-year-olds to have “relationships,” but I also have a hard time telling students that they shouldn’t like each other. After all, it’s a natural part of life and who knows, maybe they really do like each other.
Of course, I’m a little biased. My marriage is the product of a fourth grade love story.
Don’t worry, we haven’t been monogamous since fourth grade, but that is when we first met and knew we liked each other. I will always remember how Alex cut out his last name and glued it over mine while working on a school project. Little did he know that I wasn’t the kind of girl to let my maiden name be covered up. However, he obviously knew something, because here we are nearly two decades later, married, (albeit with hyphenated names…).
As you can see, I also have proof that I liked him then, as is evidenced by my silly lipstick marks imparted during a fifth grade sleepover. Even if I never told him that I liked him back, he had to know. And, I did. I kept thinking about him all the way into my high school years, despite the fact that we both switched schools in fifth grade and did not see each other again for a long, long time, (or at least long in kid years).
That’s the funny thing about life. You never know who is going to stick around and who isn’t. So, when my fourth graders disclose that they like each other, I can’t help but wonder what the future holds. In my admittedly unusual case, my fourth grade crush became my husband and my fourth grade best friend is still one of my bests.
For now, my fourth grade love story is still a secret in my classroom, but maybe sometime I’ll let them hear it, just to watch the expressions on their faces as they wonder whether they’re sitting next to their future spouses…