Fourth Grade Love Stories

“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…

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10 thoughts on “Fourth Grade Love Stories

  1. Stacy MacDonald says:

    This is by far one of my favorite entries you have written. It made my heart all warm and fuzzy, maybe because I know you and Alex (although not long) but your love radiates and makes me look forward to my road ahead. 🙂

  2. kingmidget says:

    This is one of the great tragedies of childhood. My kids have had friends that they would have died for in those early years and they’re gone. My oldest son had these friends (all girls) in Kindergarten and first grade and second grade that were just the absolute best friends he could possibly ask for. They’re all gone from his life now. Yeah, several of them go to his high school, but he’s over here doing this and they’re over there doing that. Looking at my kids grow up, I feel this loss regularly — the knowledge that these kids that their lives revolve around now are most likely not going to be there just a few short years from now. Kudos to you for holding on to one of them

    • oliviaobryon says:

      I can imagine as a parent that must be hard to watch. I think about that with some of my students too. Their friendships change a lot. I was fortunate enough to run into my best friend from fourth grade on the first day of college orientation. We hadn’t seen each other since fourth grade, (since I moved away), and suddenly there she was calling out my name in the dining common. Pretty awesome timing!

  3. Melanie says:

    How sweet! I always tease my 8th graders, “Oh there’s no love in the 8th grade.” I often get the reply, “Oh yes there is!!!”

    • oliviaobryon says:

      That’s too funny! There is definitely no love in the fourth grade either, despite the title of my blog. Thankfully at age ten, their affection vocabulary is limited to like and love is not even on the radar! I admire you teachers of teenagers… Our school goes up to grade 12 and I don’t think I would survive with the older kids!

      • Melanie says:

        You’d be surpised. Once you get older you might like them better. I never wanted to teach HS or MS but after I had kids I was ready for a change of scenery and I LOVE the older kids now. I honestly don’t think I could go back to anything less than 6th grade.

      • oliviaobryon says:

        I believe it. I actually never wanted to teach elementary until I subbed. I used to think I wanted to teach high school, but the high schoolers at my current school are pretty rough. Give me 5-10 years. 🙂

  4. Tanya says:

    What what! Love the shout out! And you 🙂 xo

    • oliviaobryon says:

      🙂 As I typed how I re-met you in one of the comments above, I got teary! Seriously, that was the best timing in the world– when else do you more need a good friend than on your first day of college orientation? I feel very blessed!

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