When Harper started preschool, in January of 2008, there was a boy in her class - we'll call him Jonah C. - Jonah C. and Harper didn't become fast friends right away, but she was thrilled to find out that he was in her same class the next year, even though we switched to a different site for preschool. Over the last year and a half Harper and Jonah C. have become very good friends. She likes him, she says, because he is silly like her dad. And he gets in trouble sometimes, but not too much. Mostly, she says, he's a pretty good listener.
Sometime this school year (they are in the same class again) Harper decided that, because they are both silly, she was going to marry Jonah C. She started talking about loving him and how they were going to have silly babies and a silly dog when they grew up.
Harper knew that Jonah C. would not go to the same kindergarten as her - we live in the same school district but they have a different neighborhood elementary schools. When I ended up getting a job for this semester and Harper found out she'd be switching schools, you can imagine there was a lot of sadness over leaving Jonah C.
Her exact words were, "I'm just not ready to let go of Jonah C. yet!"
We told her not to worry, I've gotten to know Jonah C.'s mom and I was confident that we would be able to get the two of the together. We told Harper she wouldn't see Jonah C. when she went to school, but she'd still be able to play with him. (And get married and have silly babies.)
But then last week we had to sit Harper down and tell her that Matt got a new job and we'd all be moving to Michigan. It took a few minutes (and various phrasing) for the news to sink in and once it did Harper started sobbing hysterically. It took a long time to calm her down enough for her to tell us why she was so upset. When she finally caught her breath she said she couldn't tell us why she was upset, but she could show us.
She walked over to the counter and pulled out a red construction paper heart on which she'd written, "I love Jonah C.," and showed it to us.
"How can I marry Jonah C.," she sobbed, "if I live in a different state?"
That noise you heard last Wednesday evening? It was the sound of my heart breaking into a million pieces for my girl.
The initial shock has worn off, but now Harper is trying to figure out how she'll convince Jonah C.'s family that they should also move to Michigan.