I didn’t think I’d have to worry about a boy breaking one of my girls’ hearts for
another eight to 10 years. And yet this morning, Rhapsody sat in her booster seat. Eyes downcast and very, very sad.

Her friend Todd hasn’t shown up. Again. They’ve known each other for around two years which, when you’re a four year old, is a long time. I spy a silent tear and my heart shatters.

I don’t know what to say. I offer up reassurances that I’m sure he hasn’t forgotten, that he’s probably just busy but even to my ear they sound like empty platitudes.

The silent sadness is much scarier than a screaming tantrum but there’s simply no consoling her this time. For a moment I have the urge to take her back inside, give her ice cream and sit her in front of Bridget Jones’ Diary. But life goes on and we’re running late for school.

Did I mention that Todd is our ‘Rubbish Truck Man’? And that now we’ve started school (preprep) we have a routine that means we have to leave at a set time each day? A time that means it’s touch-and-go whether the rubbish truck gets here before we leave. We’ve even been late the last two Thursdays because I was stretching it out in the hopes we’d get the wave and chat in.

But alas, this morning it’s not to be. The girls took an interest in the rubbish truck years ago and we were lucky enough to have a driver who waved each week. Then occasionally we’d go out and have a chat.

Todd always stops and makes an effort (not just with our girls by the way, but I’ve not pointed out his free love approach to Rhapsody just yet – no judgment here) and her face lights up each week with the sound of the heavy-duty mobile garbage compacter.

When we took the girls on holidays she was most indignant when she realised it was Thursday and she wouldn’t be seeing Todd that week. An anger that soon turned to sadness and her uttering, “But who will wave to Todd? He will miss me. I will miss him.”

I know it’s not a sweeping love story but it’s very real to little Rhaps.  And her pain is my pain too. But how the hell am I going to handle teenage romance pain if I’m struggling with her friendship with the rubbish truck man?

I’ve thought about the inevitable dating and even prepared my introduction for potential suitors (“Hello. My name is Mr Sherratt and I ALWAYS have an alibi.”) and I know that at some point that terrible heartbreak will affect my girls. And it hurts to just think about. And all I can do is be there and do my best. Which means next Thursday I don’t care how late we are for school.

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