As I am fast approaching the big 3-0, without my consent, my mind has started subconsciously reminiscing over the last 29 years of my life in the form of incredibly vivid (and embarrassing) dreams. This morning, I woke up feeling like an awkward, pre-pubescent, tween.
In ten years time, when my daughter will likely be going through some of these similar situations, I hope she can look back and read her mothers real-life stories, and maybe she won’t feel so bad. I also figure, that in ten years, the details will be a little more fuzzier around the edges then they are now, so, I might as well tell the story while it’s details are mostly in tact.
It was the summer of 1995, the famous Southern California heat was in full force, and TLC’s “Creep” was the jam on the radio. I was entering a new phase in my life, leaving my elementary days behind me, and about to join the ranks of the ‘big kids’ in middle school that following September. So many changes were going on with my body; my once clear face was just beginning its transformation into becoming a magnet for acne, and I was still adjusting to the fact that I would be wearing glasses for the rest of my life (something I was in deep, deep denial about). I was also super skinny and barely had the right to wear a training bra.
Up until this age, I considered myself to be a pretty secure, confident, tomboyish kinda gal. I loved playing flag football at school, and I was an expert at chasing boys and “tagging” them (you know, back when tagging was a physical act and not a digital one). I was still a girl at heart though, I had my share of crushes and “boyfriends”, and considered myself a pretty salty dog in the dating arena since I had even…dare I say it…held a boys hand when no adults were looking, gasp!
Oh, but how things would change…
My mom and dad both worked full-time, so my summers were spent at Edgewood Daycare, just a few miles from my house. During the summer, Edgewood was pretty much a daytime summer camp. I looked forward to summers for this reason. Many a day’ was spent going to the park for picnics, or on field trips to the community pool. My personal favorite was the skating rink though…oh the glory days.
This summer would be my last summer with Edgewood, joining the ranks of the ‘big kids’ also meant leaving one of my favorite childhood past-times behind. Even though it was a summer of lasts, it was also a summer of firsts.
You see, there was this boy (isn’t that how it always starts?), for his sake, his name shall remain anonymous, and in my 11 year-old perspective, he was fiiiine. Back in the day, that was the lingo my generation used to describe someone who was what we would call today, hot. This boy reminded me of Devon Sawa, of ‘Little Giants’ and ‘Casper’ fame, and in those days, dear beautiful Devon was my celebrity crush. So, when this boy started showing interest in me while were both attending Edgewood together, I couldn’t have been more ecstatic about it..
On top of it, he was a year older than me! In the fall, we would be going to the same middle-school together, he in the 7th grade, and me in the 6th. Oh man, I really thought I had scored with this fella.
To be honest, most of the details of our “relationship” are a bit blurry–there was some handholding in there, hanging out, sitting next to each other on the bus, you know the usual. But what really stands out in my memory about our time together was the one and only time we kissed. It was my first “real” kiss.
From what I remember leading up to it, it happened like this: I told my girlfriend I wanted to kiss him, she told his friend, who told him, and then he told his friend to tell my friend that he wanted to kiss me too. Did you get all of that? Like the expert kissing coordinators that our friends were, they set the time and the location. It would all go down in the cubby room (the room that had all of our backpacks) at lunch.
Leading up to that moment I was a nervous wreck! In fact as I write this, I can still feel how anxious it made me as I relive the moment. Suddenly, I was acutely aware of my heartbeat as it pulsated through my body at an extreme rate, I could literally feel my heart in my butt. I also kept thinking, “Why are my palms so stinking sweaty? gross!”.
As I walked my body towards the cubby room, it felt like slow motion. My heart ringing in my ears boom boom, boom boom…I rounded the corner into the room, and there he stood, by his lonesome, in the middle of the room. Our friends waiting for us outside. He didn’t look nearly as nervous as I felt, which I attributed to the likelihood that this probably wasn’t his first time ( I mean, after all, he was older than me).
I walked over to him, I remember staring up at his lips, partly because I was afraid to make eye contact and also because I was mesmerized by how big and wet they were. Then, we closed the distance between us and our lips met in the middle. It was over almost as quickly as it had begun. I am sure I giggled at some point, but I am also sure that I turned around and bolted out of there, wiping my lips off with the back of my hand in the process.
Our little summer love affair didn’t last much longer after that, he didn’t stay at Edgewood the entire summer, and like many things in that time of a kids life, we just moved on to other crushes and more awkward life moments.
But, I’ll never forget that first kiss…