First Love

First Love

From Chicken Soup for Every Mom's Soul

First Love

As far back as I can remember, I was the loud, adventurous and mischievous daughter; she was the quiet, traditional and ladylike mother. I always blamed our problems on our age difference. She was thirty-eight when I was born, and at that time, in the late ’60s, that was old to have a baby. Though I was never embarrassed that I had the oldest parents in my group of friends, I felt that their advanced age accounted for their being so strict and conservative.

It was inevitable that the “loud” daughter and the “quiet” mother would clash. In my early teens, we argued a lot and it created an ever-growing wedge between us. One major problem was how strict she was when it came to boys and dating. We argued until we were blue in the face about when I would be allowed to date. Finally, the magic number was determined . . . sixteen.

In no time I was sixteen and dating. She didn’t talk to me about it directly, but I could tell my mother was very concerned. I couldn’t understand why. Didn’t she realize I was a responsible, intelligent girl who would never date a jerk? I assumed it was due to her “old-fashioned” ways. She was a strict “older mom” who just didn’t understand today’s world.

Then toward the end of my first year of dating, I met him. He was a great guy. My parents liked him instantly, though I could still see a look of concern on my mother’s face. Was she ever going to trust me? My boyfriend and I were in love and after going together steadily for a year, I started college. Anyone who has experienced first love and then a sudden separation knows the chances of staying together are slim to none. When we broke up, so did my heart. I was devastated. This eighteen-year-old know-it-all suddenly didn’t know what to do. I immediately ran to my “mommy” and cried on her shoulder like a baby.

Did she lecture me? Did she say, “I told you so”? Not once. Instead, she slept with me in my bed, held my hand and even kissed me on the forehead just like when I was a little girl. She never made me feel stupid or ashamed. She listened to my sad story and watched silently as the tears rolled down my face.

After a while, although I was feeling better, I was still very confused and didn’t quite understand what had just happened to me. I was very angry, and I expressed my concerns to my mother. I was surprised at the tone of my voice. It had a harder edge. I wasn’t so trusting or naïve; I felt older and more tired.

My mother gently explained the reasons she had been so concerned during my courtship, opening up to me like she never had before. She had always been so conservative with me about sharing her emotions that I sometimes wondered if she had ever been a teenager. Now, she told me about her first love and how she’d felt when it was over. Her heart had been broken, and the tears hadn’t stopped for weeks. When it was all said and done, she’d felt just as hopeless as I was feeling. She told me that in time her pain went away, becoming only a faint memory. She assured me that one day I would meet the man I would marry, and when I thought of my first heartbreak, I would smile. I would forget the pain and only remember the love.

I was surprised, shocked and relieved all at once. Surprised that my father wasn’t my mother’s first love. Shocked that she had actually shared this story with me. And relieved that my mother was not only a mom, but also a woman who had experienced the same kind of pain I had . . . and survived. It was then that my mother became my best friend.

After that, I shared all the challenges and problems in my life with her. College, dating, career and of course, more heartbreaks. But none ever seemed as serious as the first. I loved how close we were. Even my friends commented on our relationship. It made us both very happy and proud.

Then one day, many years later, I met him: my future husband. The first thing I did was call my mom and tell her all about him. During the phone conversation she asked me if I remembered my first heartbreak. Giggling, I answered yes, wondering why she’d asked.

I could hear the tenderness in her voice as she responded, “Are you smiling?”

Sophia Valles Bligh

You are currently enjoying a preview of this book.

Sign up here to get a Chicken Soup for the Soul story emailed to you every day for free!

Please note: Our premium story access has been discontinued (see more info).

view counter

More stories from our partners