Young Love

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I remember when I was in my first year of school. I loved my very first teacher so much. Every day when I left to go home, I would hug and kiss her goodbye. I don’t remember exactly why, but I do recall the strength of my feelings. I was four and a half.

I can also remember the first boy I fell in love with. I wanted to be in his presence every minute of the day, but he barely knew I existed. This was when I was five or six. I was devastated.

The only boy that liked me back then was really sweet and kind but I was in love with “Matthew”. The sweet and kind boy that liked me followed me around everywhere and I thought of him as “Moon Face”. I never called him this, but that is how I referred to him in my mind because he reminded me of the happy and smiley character out of the “Magic Faraway Tree” by Enid Blyton. Perhaps, his heart was saddened by my lack of enthusiasm for his school boy advances. I’m sorry Moon Face.

In grade 5, I remember playing kiss chasey. The only boy that chased me was the one I didn’t want to be kissed by. I ran into the girls’ toilet and slammed the metal gate shut against his onslaught but he burst through like an angry bull and smashed the gate open. My arm was crushed between the brick wall and the metal gate breaking my wrist.

Not a good start to the game of love.

I’m writing this not to demonstrate how pathetic my love life was in primary school, but because I am now in a position to watch my boys fall in love in their early years of school just as I did. Thankfully, I can say that they seem to have more luck than me.

One day, my eldest, when he was in grade 5 (so around 11 years old), slipped into the car and sadly told me he had broken up with his girlfriend. I love that he’s not too shy to share these events with me and we discussed it for a while. He was surprisingly accepting but I gave him my empathy, love and a big hug when we got home.

The next day, when I picked up my children again, my third son, (not to be left out), sadly told me he had broken up with his girlfriend. Trying to hide my amusement (he was only 5), I asked him if he was alright. Just as he started to answer, my fourth son (3 years old) piped up and said, “Can I have her?” To which son number three replied, “She’s not a box of chocolates!”

I was quite impressed that Felix (number 3), was able to so eloquently articulate his understanding and respect for girls at such a young age. I guess then, that I’m not at all surprised to find that at the age of nine, he is head over heels in love and so tender that he may just give Price Charming a run for his money.

They are cute together; just young and innocent love. Holding hands and spending time together is the extent of their relationship, but they don’t seem to have enough hours in the day to be together. At home they write each other letters which are delivered shyly in the playground and on weekends they try to arrange more time together as well.

Today, I found a letter Felix had written to Chloe. It was really lovely so I asked him why he didn’t send it. He said he was going to and I told him it that the words were so beautiful that it read like a poem. Felix turned to me and said, “Mum, it’s not a poem, it’s a song I wrote for her.”

Felix posted this little song on his blog today (he would love you to have a look) as well as writing it for her in a card. I wonder if he will sing it to her.

BROTHERS – Tom

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In the neighbourhood that we spent most of our youth in, there was a definite shortage of girls my age. Fortunately for me, my brother, Tom, always made the time to teach me the important things in life according to his own experience. These consisted of, riding a bike, kicking a football and bowling over-arm in cricket. I will never forget how patient and skilful he was at passing these abilities onto me, and how flattered I felt that “he”, was prepared to gift his time to me so unconditionally.

For me, this meant I could be a useful member of the “Blackstreet” cricket and football games which were served daily after school. I loved the look of shock on the neighbourhood boys’ faces’ when I managed to knock those wickets down with a carefully aimed bowl (or hit the rubbish bin as the case was back then). These were carefree and innocent times, and when I reflect on these memories, I see a quiet street at the bottom a of a hill, brought to life by well the organised games we played together, and can almost feel the sweet summer breeze on my face and the happiness in my heart.

Tom did well in school. English and Literature were always his strengths as he had immense talent with words – both spoken and written. He had a confidence that I quietly envied and it was often highlighted by his affable banter and body language around his school mates. In High School, I was still welcomed to participate in his games with or without his mates.  Whether it was the backstreet sports we continued to play or the many games of “500” we occupied ourselves with until the early hours of weekend mornings. Jokes and pranks were high on our list of entertainment.

Tom studied literature, Japanese and Spanish at Monash University and later spent his “gap years” mostly in Japan honing his language skills whilst working as a golf caddy and inhaling the beauty of those perfectly tended golf Oasis’ ; all the while writing his beautiful poetry.

Tom has had an eclectic career and now works in dispute resolution. He pursues his true passion of writing poetry and has recently written his own memoirs. He expresses himself with a combination of the beautiful Haiku that he frequently pens and his obvious literary talent. His story reflects the time he spent in Japan; which is delicately interspersed with Haiku, love, humour and his sensitive reflections on our family.

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