I want to talk about the new developments with one of my daughters, but I don’t know how to start. More and more, I am increasingly aware that I am airing my children’s laundry (clean or otherwise) in this blog and that is not my intention at all.
What I really want to do is talk about how these little incidents in their lives, those moments that seem to shout out in bright neon, “ Look at me! I am growing up!” have the same effect on me as the anvil had on coyote: that is, they leave me disoriented with little birdies like a halo around my brain and with a huge emotional goose egg.
But still, I hesitate with this one. Why, you might ask? I’ve already discussed such sensitive subjects as lice, pin worms, puberty. What could possibly be more personal than that?
A first crush, that’s what. There I said it. I won’t say which daughter or who her crush is on, because really, that’s not important. What is important (at least in this forum) is how she came to tell me about it and how I had no answer.
I was making Christmas cookies on Monday night. I had my apron on, the most wonderful apron ever, with huge sunflowers on it and pockets in just the right places. My hands were in the middle of massaging the dough for the shortbread when my daughter plunked herself on the Ikea Bekvam stool and began talking to me.
I was very happy for the company, although a little bit distracted so I didn’t quite catch the gist of the conversation until we were plunked right into the thick of things. Here is a bit of a sample:
Daughter- So, [name of friend who shall remain anonymous] was the only one there after school and it was boring.
Me (reading the recipe)- Why was it boring? Don’t you like [ ]?
D- Yeah, but all she talks about is boys. I mean, that’s all she thinks about! She now has a crush on [ ]. She actually made [ ] and me go ask him to go out with her at lunch today!
Me (remembering the days when “going out” was accomplished simply by asking. One did not need to “go” anywhere with said person. I was wondering if this is what she was talking about and not a little curious that it should be happening so soon.)-Really? So what did he say?
D- Well, it was a little confusing, because she also asked [ ] to ask him and [ ] said that he said yes, but [ ] who went to ask for us said that he said no, so finally she asked the out of school worker to go ask for her and so she did and he said no.
Me (by now I have paused and am trying to get my head around that big chunk of verbal pie)- huh? Does she do that often?
And now there is a considerable pause, where the thought dawns on me that this would be a good time- no a perfect time – to ask my daughter oh so casually if she has a crush on anyone.
Me (concentrating very hard on pounding the poor dough and being very careful to avoid eye contact)- So… do you have a crush on anyone?
Pause. I risk a sidelong glance my daughter’s way and notice that she has turned a very lovely shade of fuschia.
D- Well… Yes…I’ve liked someone for a longtime. He’s really nice and…
Me (trying to keep my voice empty of all curiosity and failing miserably)-Who is it?
D (now turning hot pink)- I don’t want to say.
Me (recalling a passing comment from my mother a couple of months ago that I dismissed so conveniently and still trying to sound casual)- Is it [ ]?
D (from afar because she ran away sobbing and slammed the door to her room)- Yesssss.
Me (left all by myself, my hands full of greasy shortbread dough)- Oh.