Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Crush

Joey bursts through the door, his face flushed and his eyes wild. He wears excitement like a cape as he flies over to me and throws his long, skinny arms around me. His brothers follow closely behind caught up in their big brother's excitement.

The story of the day is about a boy who likes a girl who likes him back. It is a story as old as time but is brand new again in my boy.

He asked her to the movies and she said happily accepted. "We are going in a big group of our friends. But I'm gonna pay for her. I have to save up my allowance so we can go. I'm gonna pay for her and me. I was thinking maybe we could see Maleficent when it comes out. Or maybe Rio 2 or Heaven is For Real.  I'll see what she wants to see. Can you call her mom and ask if that is okay? Can you call her right now? Or maybe you could email her? Can we go tomorrow? Or, wait, I still have to save up. Could I get my allowance early? I have $9.00 in my wallet but I need more. How much does it cost to get in to the movies?" he spews at me without giving me a chance to answer.

The younger brothers watch closely. They are learning from his experience without even knowing it. They are all watching my reactions and I feel myself panic on the inside. Which is the best way to go? I want to be excited and supportive so he knows he can always come to me and I will share his enthusiasm. At the same time I don't want to encourage this whole "dating" business just yet. I want to tease and have fun with my boy, as I can see that is the mood he is in, but I definitely don't want to turn it into a joke. I know this is serious to my first timer and I want to behave just as he wants me to.

This is all so new. To him and to me. I'm not sure which way to go.

I try to match his enthusiasm. I don't want to be anything less than supportive in this moment.

I try to put myself in his shoes and think back to grade school. As a skinny, awkward, goofy tomboy I really have nothing to compare it to. Boys were never interested in me until I was a junior in high school. I used to loathe being a late bloomer but now I can see it for the blessing it was. There was a freedom in it.

I want my kids to be late bloomers too. Alas, it doesn't seem to be going that way.

Instead of playing outside Joey sits down to write his crush a letter. He uses his neatest handwriting and thinks carefully and thoughtfully. He shows me the letter when he is done. I am honored to be included inside his world once again and I lift a silent prayer that he will always want to share his heart with me. I smile and compliment his letter and he floats out the door to join his brothers outside, relieved to have finally gotten his letter just right.

Each time he comes back in the house he is bursting to tell me something else about the movies or his crush. He tells me how he wrote her a letter a couple of weeks ago and attached Hershey's chocolate to it. Another letter followed a few days later in which he told her that he liked her and that she was really good at staring contests. The boy is good if I do admit so myself. Chocolates, declarations, and compliments. How could a girl refuse?

I listen carefully to his stories and ask all the right questions. He knows I'm interested and gives me all the info I want. I tell him I admire his bravery. He shrugs it off. The kid has confidence in abundance.

In between my support I sprinkle in a bit of seriousness. A bit of lecture here, a bit of warning there.

"Only in groups"
"No dating until high school"

He rolls his eyes at me.

"Mom don't I even get what dating is. It doesn't even make sense." Joey announces.

I explain that dating is two people getting to know each other. It involves going on dates (like to the movies) with just each other. Sometimes the two people might even kiss.

"MOM! What makes you think I would even WANT to do that? That's just crazy!" Joey assures me. "I just like her and she likes me and that's it."

Simplicity, mom. Remember that. I must trust in his pure heart.

Before I can even  start to worry that my boy is growing up too quickly he is back outside playing in the woods, building forts, and riding bikes with his brothers. Once again reminding me that he is still just a boy. Still cloaked in innocence and childhood.

But it is a moment.

A milestone.

A first crush.


Anonymous said...

Simplicity. If only it lasted huh?

Bijoux said...

You are lucky that he told you about it. My son hid everything like that.....still does!

We expect a call from Las Vegas someday.

nbrsspot.blogspot.com said...

That is so sweet.

betty said...

I agree with what Bijoux said; my son was the same way; still is too at age 25. But you did the right thing to listen to him and be receptive and always answer any question they might ask (as embarrassing as it might be, LOL) but you always want them to come to you and know they'll get an honest answer. You'll be amazed what they will learn from their friends that you will have to teach them the truth about :)

So cute though with your son; I remember my first crush.

Enjoy the ride ahead!


Charmaine said...

Hey Kat :) you did good!

Cyndy @ Back in the Bush said...

Wiping tears....that was so beautifully written.
Your son did such a wonderful job because he is modeling his wonderful parents. No doubt about it!
This is just so, so sweet and I'm glad you wrote about it so you will have this forever.

Wendy said...

Awww... that's so sweet! My son doesn't share anything like that with me.

Elaine Alguire said...

I'm there too with B. I found a drawing of the girls at his school and all their names in his pocket while doing laundry the other day.

And another piece of paper that said, "Who do I love?" And he was NOT talking about me. LOL!

Man, I'm not ready for this. Sounds like you handled it well. Hopefully it takes him a while to save up! ha!


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Wow. I'm feeling so thankful I have a troop of late bloomers here! Sounds like you are handling it very gracefully, Kat.

Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? said...

So simple and sweet "I like her and she likes me" and yet, so scary. I hope I have super late bloomers:)

Karen Deborah said...

It's precious. I remember when I was a girl and a neighbor boy liked me. He wasn't may boy friend we never even THOUGHT about kissing but he was special. That was one of the more positive experiences in my childhood before all the insecurity of proms, dances, dates and peer pressure. This is one that will boost his confidence in the future. It's really cool and he is adorable. Your doing such a great job! Scary right? But very cool. My vote is for "Heaven is Real" lots to talk about from that one.

Stacey van horn said...

What a great time in a boys life, even if a little scary for Mom. Enjoy the ride, it is just begining but it seems you are both off to a wonderful start! Be proud and happy he is sharing this with you.

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson