This weekend, five-year-old Anton asked me to help him write a note…

His kindergarten classmate, Ivy, had given him a broken toy plane that day, and he carried it around in his hand, gently, gingerly, like a treasure. Finally, before bed, he pulled out a piece of printer paper to write a special note.

Anton has always had female friends but this time he said he wanted to marry her. He asked how to spell each word. He then requested a “bracelet” (a black hair elastic) to give her and wrapped everything up in a business envelope. The whole endeavor was very serious. Even in kindergarten, their lives are so big and real! My mom always says, “Take your child’s joys and worries seriously,” and watching them navigate the world can be painfully sweet.

love note

Do you remember your first crush? Mine was also in kindergarten: Fabio Betts, the first person I ever knew with a buzz cut.

P.S. Toby and Anton in conversation, and 14 great reader comments on dating.