My Boy and a Girlfriend


On MLK day, I watched my six year old son as he and this little girl did the fluttering swirling dance that butterflies do as they ascended the spiral staircase inside the cage at the McDonald’s Playplace, their faces sometimes six inches apart. When they separated, one down the slide, one not, she called his name incessantly. I heard it at least 50 times. Her repeated cries were lyrical and full of necessity.

She needed for him to pay constant attention to her for at least an hour straight. And he needed her attention just as badly it would seem.The way he mooned at her, you’d think we’d never paid attention to him. I felt a kindred spirit in that girl. She has learned her temptress ways from an obvious master. As I recall, she had it down in Kindergarten too. The meeting at the restaurant was just a chance rekindling of an old flame. Or there was a storm and he was the available port.


My boy asked his Dad / my husband the next day if he’d had girlfriends when he’d been in school. That was a big ten four little buddy. And I remember being my kid’s age and marrying a kid named Jeff in a play/pretend ceremony. We were dressed as bunnies in leotards. He was in gray and I was in black. So romantic. Until my one longtime girlfriend from grade school told me this first grade Romeo was marrying all the girls in our first grade.


I can admit I saw my future flash in front of my eyes at the McD’s. I hope that in 6th grade and beyond, he’ll be a lunkhead and won’t comprehend the girls liking him. He’ll be too busy with his sports or academics to notice. It’s my hope that his self-esteem is at least mid-grade when he get’s hit with the hormonal storm. And that he’s not attracted to the un-savable girls. That was his parents’ MO and I would hate for it to be his. Yet, it’s his destiny, not mine. My plan is to smile and invite the possible vampires in for dinner, crumble holy crackers around their chairs, and ask them all the uncomfortable questions as to keep them in the light until they ignite and burn with the truth right in front of his eyes. A mother can dream.



My First Grader’s First Day

Say goodbye to kindergarten, here comes first grade. We already knew Mr. Green’s bus would come at 8:25. It’s still peanut butter and jelly for lunch every day. Except for Friday when it’s pizza day.  I was freed to spend all day doing whatever I wanted to. I decorated and created and dyed my hair and caulked and went to the gym and sanded chairs. And when Eamon got home, he didn’t have that edge that he had last year that I felt I had to coddle and worry over.Yes he was hungry but his sense of humor was still intact. He wanted to return immediately to school and do it all over again, bless his heart. He’s big now, soon to be even bigger.