I had my first crush when I was in kindergarten. I was convinced I would marry the lucky boy, and gushed about him to my sister and mom who, in turn, teased me mercilessly. Then in first grade, my kindergarten beau Lenny was forgotten when I met Matthew. So on and so forth through elementary, middle, and high school, where feelings change daily and relationships rarely last.
Meanwhile, I started reading a historical romance in which the heroine falls in love with the hero when she’s six years old. This isn’t an unfamiliar plot, though perhaps this affection started earlier than most. Frequently does one protagonist (usually the heroine) develops feelings for the other in childhood, perhaps around ten or eleven years old, and spend their lives between that first strike of Cupid’s arrow and marriage pining over the other. And we’re expected to believe that ten, fifteen, or even twenty years later, that love is still as pure and strong as it was then.