Holden is in love.

A few months ago, he burst into tears at the kitchen table while talking to Hank. As I had already had this particular encounter with Holden earlier in the day, I listened from the stairway, trying to hear what the daddy-son conversation would be.

Well, at first, Hank couldn’t understand a single thing he said. Words were masked by the wailing.

Then, still a little too loudly from all of the emotion, Holden cried, “Emma doesn’t love me!”

I wished so badly that I could see Hank’s face. Was it shock and disbelief? Was it the I-don’t-know-what-to-do-when-people-cry guy face? Sympathy? The “Oh-buddy-I’ve-been-there face”?

Instead, I tip-toed back up the stairs for that moment to be theirs. (Partly because Holden and I had just watched the movie, Sweet Home Alabama, where he discovered that you CAN find your soulmate at 10. I neglected to mention that to Hank. But mostly because this was a good guy conversation without my interference.)

The next day at preschool, Holden mentioned in conversation to one of his teachers, Mr. John David, more of the same. This time, however, there were no sobs. And Mr. John David, being the mastermind that he is, casually asked Emma about it during some work time later that morning.

Emma’s response?

“I don’t even know who that is.”

Oh. Harsh. Grrr. Please don’t hurt my tender little man.

Lo, and behold, no more tears from Holden. His heart was broken, yet mending. He’s the Comeback Kid.


Two weeks ago, Holden announced, “Emma says she wants to marry me.” Big smiles. “Can I buy her some flowers?”

Let’s wait, I said. We had some baby tulips about to bloom. I thought one of those would be perfect. And it was.

Yesterday, Holden went out to the flower garden and cut a small, tender orange tulip. We pulled off the bottom leaf and wrapped a soaked paper towel around the base. We slipped it into a small baggie, then wrapped it with a red ribbon to keep it secure and, well, red is almost Emma’s favorite color.

Holden presented her with this precious gift yesterday morning.

And today, Emma brought him a Thank You card.