I was a late bloomer in the relationship department. Always boy crazy, but too innocent and Allah-fearing to dip my toes into the water. In second grade I had a crush on my friend's big brother. He was at least 5 years older than I. He was a big kid and I was a little kid, but still he was cute and made a lot of fart jokes which I thought was hilarious. Interestingly enough I find him a little less than repulsive today, yet he's married (separated I now hear).
I was also in love with my teacher's son at the small private school my parents started me out in. He was a mischievous, skinny white boy with red hair. He didn't go to my school but would come hang out after his school let out. When I suspected he would be there that day I insisted on wearing a dress and that my mom put extra bobby pins and clips in my hair to hold back the frizzies.
My most memorable childhood crush lasted longer than I would like to admit. The son of a family that moved into our community when I was still watching Under the Umbrella Tree. All the girls thought he was cute but I was pretty sure I had the best chance to end up marrying him in the future. I may not have been tall or had pretty long straight hair (this was pre-hijab) but we had the most in common. We were both smart in school and said we wanted to be doctors. I thought he would never want a dumb girl even if she was really pretty (as you can tell, I really didn't know much about how guys think).
I must have been 8 years old when I told my father that I was in love with my crush (I said it in arabic too). My dad was lying down in bed and shot up at my announcement. “SHOOOOO” (whattttt). I repeated it but this time I was embarassed. I hated disappointing my father. He just stared at me and said “7araaaam” and I said ok. We never talked about guys, or marriage....in fact things are still like that today in my household almost 20 years later.