We asked a first grade boy: Ever been in love? He replied, “Many times.”
What is love? Kids share ideas

Mary Mattingly

With Valentine’s Day approaching, we asked eight vivacious and talkative first graders at Jac-Cen-Del Elementary all about love, dating, marriage—the whole gamut of romance. There was lots of giggling, squirming, and even some blushing with both the boys and girls.

When Dalton Young, 6, was asked what is love, he had the answer: ”It’s just liking each other.” Have you ever been in love? “Many times,” he replied, matter of factly. He’s currently “in love with 12 girls. Three who live here.”

SR kids talk about love

These first graders at Jac-Cen-Del shared their thoughts on love and marriage. For some it was painful because love is still kind of “icky.” From left, Jaden Meisberger, Nevaeh Hardin, Lance Snyder, Ashlynn Moorman, Eric Antras, Lillian Long, Dalton Young and Jayla McCarthur.

On the other hand, Lillian Long and Eric Antras were asked if they had ever been in love, and Eric almost fell off his chair laughing so hard. “No, No!” he said.

Classmate Lance Snyder, wearing a very boyish truck and bucks T-shirt, replied, “No! My rule is you have to be 20 or older.” He would rather talk about his guns and tractors than love and marriage.

Ashlynn Moorman does not quite understand the opposite sex. She shakes her red hair vehemently, “I don’t like any boys except my Daddy. I only like the girl, because the boys have boy games and the girls have girl games and I do not like their games.” While she is saying this, Lance is making truck noises, and argues “What’s wrong with tractors and guns?” She prefers horses and puppies.

While few confessed to being in love, they have a pretty good idea of what it is. Eric Antras says his parents are smitten: “Because they go on dates on Friday. And,“they hug a lot.

One of the girls said she knows her parents love each other “because they call each other funny names.”

Dalton, the one with the dozen girlfriends, knows the secret to staying married. He said, “You stay married by doing whatever you need to do to make him happy.”

Jaden Meisberger has noticed that people in love often hold hands.” I really don’t know why they do that!” he said, quite bewildered.

Jayla McCarthur though says love “is a hug. And, it’s OK to kiss if you’re in love or married."

JCD 2nd grade class

At right, Brittany Cooper, second-grade teacher at Jac-Cen-Del Elementary, had her students make hearts out of paper and decorate their bags for Friday’s Valentine’s Day party. Hunter Williams shows her the heart he made.

Jaden and Nevaeh Hardin say you need permission to kiss or even hug. How do you learn? Does it take practice? The two broke into belly laughs, thinking the idea quite silly. Dalton admitted he has been kissed, and by his crush who “lives far away in Batesville.” He recalled, “She kissed me on the hand! I was scared. She has twin sisters and they were right there. They started chasing me saying they were going to kiss me. I had to run and hide!”

How does love feel?
“My heart would feel kind of nervous,” Lillian Long said,"and, people would know because you would look different." Eric thinks, “my face would be blush. My heart would feel in love.” He doesn’t want the feeling. “I don’t want to be in love with anyone. I just don’t like being in love.” Lance replied, “I think I would faint.”

As for dating, that’s something you do when you are old. Nevaeh says you have to be 18 to date. “I’m not going to have one until I’m 26!” Ashlynn said, which would probably make her daddy pleased.

And, to get married?
Jaden says the right age is “30 or 35.” Dalton says to get married, “You have to date, be girlfriend and boyfriend and then get married.”

Lance had a special Valentine’s card for someone but didn’t want her to know. He’s quite impressed with her confidence though. “She’s kind of mean sometimes. If someone is mean to her, you know what she’ll do? She’ll just tackle him and punch him in the face!” Jaden has made Valentine heart cookies with each classmate’s name on it. Navaeh gets the whole Valentine gift. “It’s just something special.” It could be cake, flowers, candy, even a “love movie” for a girl, she said. But, skip the card for Lillian. She would prefer an iPod. And a Barbie set. A card attached to a toy would win Eric over.

In the meantime, these first graders are more than happy to receive a Valentine’s Day card from a classmate or friend. It’s perfect for their age. They have plenty of time for that “other love stuff.”




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