My first “love” was while I was in Kindergarten. A lot of people have asked me if I wasn't actually too young to call it love, but I knew better. I adored Victor and he adored me. He was the first boy I ever held hands with.
Victor was a sweet boy. He was very nice to me. I remember fondly how he wanted to pick me a flower so badly. School had just started and it was fall, so there were no flowers in bloom. So, instead of a flower, Victor went and found the prettiest and brightest colored autumn leaf he could find. As he walked up to me at the bus stop, he kept it carefully hidden behind his back so I wouldn't see what it was. I'll never forget that playful look on his face, the slight smile to the corners of his mouth, the gentle twinkle in his eyes. He bowed his head a bit, feeling rather shy, and gave it to me. It was the prettiest thing I had ever seen. It was the first gift I had ever been given by a boy. I took it home with me and planned to keep it forever. In thanks, I kissed Victor on the cheek and told him thank you.
My mom and dad gave me a very strange look when I carried a leaf in the house that afternoon. When they asked where it came from I told them my boyfriend gave it to me. Next thing to come was a look on my mother’s face I wont ever fail to remember. Especially when I told her who my boyfriend was. That was the first lecture I ever got on how I should not call someone like Victor my boyfriend. Mom told me it was ok to be friends with someone like him, but it wasn’t ok for me to call them my boyfriend. Ever.
I couldn’t understand why not. He was a nice boy! It took a long time to understand what my mother meant, and even when I did finally understand her meaning, I have never agreed with it. I agree with what my original thought was as a child. He was a nice boy. That's all that mattered. My mother has always claimed not to be racist in any manner... but every time I hear her make that claim, I think of Victor.... and I wonder how he is now.