The Block Island Times

Love in the springtime

By Sheridan Fisher Carley | Jun 06, 2012

Helen Keller once said, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even heard, but it must be felt with heart.”
The heart only knows what it wants and in the springtime even at the tender young age of 3, 4 and 5, children have the wonderful experience of feeling love. Oxytocin, better known as the “love hormone,” comes into their lives.
So many young romances start in preschool. During this time of year, little boys in class seem to go crazy around little girls. (In college years, it was called “leg” season). Whether it be with positive or negative attention, it seems to swell in the spring.
I had a little boy in class who’s name was Shane. He was smitten with Kristina. One of the objectives of an educator is to ensure the children have parameters, personal space, and know what is acceptable behavior, while being sensitive to the feelings of others.
Looking back at the time, I knew the love bug had really bitten. Love is so sweet at that age. They really do not know how to act. Shane was in love with Kristina. Kristina seemed not to want any part of Shane’s advances. Shane would try to hug her, put his arm around her, sit next to her at circle time and then he took it one step further and tried to kiss her. When all that didn’t work, he tried negative attention. Stepping on her feet, pinching her and chasing her all over the classroom. To say the least she was extremely upset. So I took Shane aside and said, “Shane, why are you doing all these crazy things to Kristina? She is very upset and you are making her cry.” Shane said, “I love her, Mrs. Carley, I want to marry her!”
I smiled to myself because we all have had that euphoric feeling. It is a thunderbolt and you never forget it.
“Shane, I know you really love her but you have to behave with kindness and keep your hands to yourself. It is her personal space,” I told him. Shane said, “Ok.” With a big sigh. “And there will be no more trying to kiss her. You promise?” Again, there was a big sigh. “Ok, I won’t.” And off he went to play.
Next, Kristina came to me when Shane went back to play. She said, “Mrs. Carley, I want to marry him and I know he really likes me, I know. But the other girls like him and they are getting mad at me when he talks to me. They tell me that they all want to marry him, but if I talk to him they will not let me play.”
I knew then, it was time to have the spring love talk with the children. So we discussed what love was and also the concepts of behavior, respect for other people and how to solve some of these emotional problems and feelings. So with minimal intervention from me, everything seemed to be back in order in the classroom.
Do you remember when you were young and in love? The feelings that were so wonderful? I know I do. The old quote still runs true: “It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.” Happy springtime.
Until the next time….

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