“Remembering Puppy Love”
I have been getting an excellent lesson in love and longing over the past week or so and didn’t even realize it. My “duty period” is 7th grade lunch. Over the past few days, the students have changed up seating arrangements for the last quarter of the school year, and I have noticed a new (to me, at least) couple. She’s the only girl at the table but she sits right next to a boy who has been a relative thorn in my side through lunch all year. And, now, he’s as docile as a lamb. They sit close together, his head bowed so he’s shorter than she is, and they talk very quietly together all through lunch. I don’t think I’ve seen either of them eat since I noticed them. They just concentrate on each other, holding hands underneath the table where they think no one will see. It’s utter tunnel-vision, to the exclusion of everyone else at the table.
A few points to this.
1: I have never seen this boy so calm, so quiet, and so attentive to ANYTHING or ANYONE since I have known him. The girl he is with isn’t one of the “pretty” cheerleaders. She’s a dark-haired girl with large, sleepy eyes, and a very low-key air about her. Perhaps she is rubbing off on him – a “gentling influence”, might we dare to suggest?
2: One day, when he wasn’t at school (or at least not in the cafeteria), she sat in complete silence for the entire half hour. Didn’t speak to anyone that I noticed. And on her face was a look of…loss. Of longing. He wasn’t there and she wanted him to be. Desperately. I saw her look around a time or two and I sensed a lonesomeness with which I am intimately familiar. Her other half was missing and it was painfully obvious that she missed him.
3: When they are together, their focus is together. Yeah, they may comment about others in the cafeteria but his attention is on her and hers on him. He doesn’t leave her. Now that the weather is warm once more, the boys and girls can go outside to play after they eat on their respective days. Normally, he would jump up and head out to play basketball or what have you. But no. He doesn’t leave her side. She is his whole world for that half hour that they have to be together and talk about whatever they want and hold hands (surrepitiously, so they believe).
I started thinking about that today and what a beautiful lesson it is. I want to always be that way with the man I love. I want to be gentled by him. I want to always miss him deeply and horribly when we have to be apart. Now, I am a rather independent person (comes part and parcel of being an only child) but I want to always feel like part of me – part that is IMPORTANT – is missing when he is not around. I even want to always feel that ache that isn’t soothed unless he’s there.
I want to focus on him when we are together. I want that tunnel-vision where he fills all of my eyes and is all I can see, feel, do, hear, etc. I WANT that! I know that, beyond the initial puppy love, something like that takes time and intentional to cultivate, and I have found that I want to work at that. Much harder than I have been.
I want that puppy love feeling. As a friend suggested, it may just even be that it’s second-nature now so that I don’t notice it. But I want to be intentional about it.