As Missy Moo and I were sitting on her “hair chair” (shouldn’t every 2.9 year old have a hair chair?) today debating on whether or not she wanted to wear her hair in ponytails or secured with a bow, she looked at me innocently and so sweetly said “Is my heart broken?”

Now let me give you the context here: Her “hair chair” is a pink and green rocking chair that has a neat little compartment on the side to hold books and a sweet little wooden heart that, when pulled out of the holder, plays a song while the string slowly slithers back into the holder until the song is complete. Missy Moo likes to call this her “heart snake” and gets a kick out of watching it slowly retreat back to its holder while playing a charming little ditty. I am not sure what happened but at one point, the heart stopped and the song glitched for a very brief, millisecond. With an alarmed look on her face, Missy Moo worriedly asked if her heart was broken. My reply to her was “No, sissy, it is not broken and I hope it never is.”

As we went along our day, I got to thinking about my answer to her question and realized that what I said is not actually true. I DO hope her heart is broken at least one time in her life. As gut-wrenching as it is for me to say this about my child who, quite frankly, I will want to scratch the eyeballs out of any child who for one second hurts her feelings, I DO want her heart to break. I guess I feel that if her heart is broken, it means she has loved and has felt secure enough to take a chance and let her heart fly. As we all know, sometimes this is a great, life-altering decision such as when we just “knew” our life partner was the “one” and then there are the other times when your heart falls so instensely and so painfully that pieces of it remain at the scene of the crime to this very day. In addition, I believe that most of us have to have pieces of our heart left at the scene of the crime before we can find the one who takes it and does not ever let it fall.

I recently spotted the greatest quote in a catalog said by a VERY wise ten year old girl that very clearly has her head on straighter at ten than I did at 25. She said, “No boy is worth crying over and the one who is won’t make you cry.” Oh from the mouths of babes – could it be expressed any better? The thing is, there are so many kinds of heartbreak – how do we prep our own children for this? Can we? How can I describe that there were moments in my life that my heart hurt so badly that I had to live minute by minute, then hour by hour, then day by day? How do I reassure them that though those times really don’t occur very often in life (THANK GOD) when you are in the midst of it, it feels like it will never end? How is it, too, that my heart broke in a different way when she took her first steps? Bittersweet heartbreak is that part of me that wants to pack her in bubble wrap and secure her so tightly that she will stop growing up so freaking fast. I feel it in my chest now with Bubba Boo – he is an official army crawler and no long unable to get places without help – my newborn is no longer and soon, he will be my toddler.

There is also another kind of heartbreak – the one I referred to when I mentioned that I might possibly scratch the eyeballs out of anyone who DARES to hurt my children’s feelings…There is a heartbreak for someone you love when they experience heartbreak themselves. See, when we give our heart away, that is a little fringe benefit we never know about until it is too late to try and take it back. When someone has your heart, they carry a piece of you and you of them – when they hurt, so do you. But the nice thing is, when you hurt, they do as well. Isn’t it worth it in the end? Now how to explain that to my 2.9 year old whose biggest concern is when she can have her Disney Princess snack? The mommy instinct tells me to wait on this one…

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