I am told my first love’s name was Juan Bamundi. And while my recollection of this slight and shy boy is vague, his name will forevermore be etched in my memory. He was my faithful shadow through kindergarten and 1st grade. He had knobby knees and sheep dog blond hair that perpetually covered his sky blue eyes. Though I never laid eyes on him again after 1st grade, I know for a fact he was the most persistent and bravest of all my suitors. I’m told he had the audacity to knock on our door, flowers in hand, and politely ask my astonished father if he (and his chaperone) could take me out for a walk. Shy but determined Juan Bamundi was my first foray with matters of the heart. I still remember his name.
Fast forward to present day and I am at a loss with my daughter’s bewildered sentiments for a certain Patrick. Fool… he is completely unaware of my bright and perfectly bashful daughter. She furtively watches him in the playground and at the oddest times will mention an encounter with him. “I don’t know why I’m not Patrick’s friend,” or, “Patrick said hello to me.”
She appears mystified by his apparent indifference. I know her mind is a filing cabinet where she logs a careful account of each utterance they have shared. And in his presence, she yields like a blade of grass for a moment of his attention.
Eager to de-mystify this boy, I asked, “So, what do you like about Patrick?”
“Mom! I don’t like him!” she squealed, then dismissively adds, “anyway, you don’t understand.”
Oh, my sweet wide-eyed daughter! I do understand.
Do not waste a single thought or glance on this boy. He will never be worthy of you … though you will always remember his name.
February 19, 2010