My Little Love Coach—by Jamie Levine
“Really?” I asked. “Do you remember what it was about?”
“You and Library Guy broke up,” she answered.
“Honey, Library Guy and I did break up,” I responded, my voice breaking a bit, though I tried hard to control it.
“Nooooooo. You can’t break up! Why?”
“Library Guy needs to be alone with his boys for awhile, honey. But we’re still friends. And everything is going to be fine,” I tried to assure her.
“Library Guy can be with his boys…but then he needs to give them back to their Mommy and be with you.”
I turned around and smiled at Jayda, hoping to end the conversation, but my little champion continued, “Are you sad, Mommy?”
“I’m a little sad,” I admitted, “but I’ll be fine.”
“I’ll make you happy, Mommy. I’ll give you lots of hugs and kisses when we get home.”
“I’d like that Jayda. You always make me happy. You’re all I need,” I answered, feeling a swelling of love in my heart.
“But Mommy…I’m sad, too.”
“Oh, don’t be sad, Jayda,” I responded, about to remind her that I really was going to be fine and she’d be fine, and that Library Guy would always be someone whom we cared about. But she continued, “I’m sad because my boyfriend broke up with me, too!’ And then she proceeded to bawl. Oy.
It was true, Jayda did have a “boyfriend” at school, though I surmised a break up hadn’t really occurred between the two of them in the prior few days. Maybe the boy hadn’t been playing with her lately—or maybe he was as devoted as ever—but clearly my dramatic-daughter felt the need to really commiserate with me. And I found it adorable, if not a little disconcerting. Who knew a four-year-old girl would be this well-versed in the logistics of dating and dealing with heartbreak? She even continued, “Mommy! I don’t want you to be sad. I know…you can get a new boyfriend!”
“That would be great, Jayda. Maybe someday.”
“No—soon! I’ll help you find one,” she insisted.
And again, I smiled. Because it’s true, Library Guy and I truly did find each other because of my daughter. She watched him at the library with his boys; she approached him; and he spoke to her before he spoke to me.
I’ve always had an interest in discovering how couples met each other. I know all my married friends’ stories, and, every week, I hone in on the “how they met” part of every tale in the New York Times wedding announcements section. I know it’s true that online dating works for some people (and I certainly secured my share of short-term relationships through J-Date and other sites before I had Jayda), but in my heart, I’ve always believed that I’d meet the man I wind up with in a much more serendipitous way. And because much of my spare time is spent with Jayda, and she’s an incredibly social child, I’m guessing she may just have something to do with finding me my next boyfriend, as she suggested. Or maybe she can find a way to reunite me with my old one. Just the other day, Jayda was picking dandelions and handed me a bunch, instructing me to “give them to Library Guy.” I reminded her that he wasn’t my boyfriend anymore. “That’s ok,” she replied. “Flowers will make him happy, so go ahead.” Clearly, my little girl knows a lot about love.