With any luck, our siblings are a joy and a blessing in our lives (yes, even when they inevitably drive us nuts...or...ahem...vice versa...) and the relationships between us are something to be treasured. Husband and I have always been glad that our sons (mostly) get along and enjoy each other's company--but I have to admit that there are times I wish I could lock them away in separate rooms and forever prevent all forms of contact...and...let's call it the Monkey See, Monkey Do Phenomenon.
I mean, I get it: the younger kids in the family learn from observing and hearing and looking up to and mimicking their adored older siblings. This is normal and expected and mostly a positive thing. But when the topic of the lesson is...girls? Ay yi yi. The 10-year old does not need to be mucking about in those tumultuous waters (says his mother, quite adamantly). So...it recently came to light that Riley just might "like" someone in his class. I overheard bits and pieces of some quiet muttering between the boys, but I wasn't getting enough information to satisfy my rampant curiosity--I mean "to offer my support and guidance--so I quizzed him directly. With a sly, secretive grin he admitted that there was indeed an object of his affection...but he declined to share a name. (RATS!) Subsequent interrogations...um, "casual questions"...caused him to reveal that he had formulated a plan...to ask her out....on Valentine's Day. Okay, let's just pause for a moment here and ask ourselves: What. The. HECK? Who is this little Romeo, and where did he get such ideas? (And as so often seems to be the case these days, I find myself utterly amused...and also tremendously horrified...)
However, he did finally confide in me one afternoon (yaaayyy!), whispering the young lady's name in my ear. He went on to describe his very organized and well-though-out scheme, "I know what I want to do. I saw a frog in the Hallmark store that I want to buy for her. That way it'll be personal, because I like frogs so much." (I had to interrupt here just for a second and ask the obvious practical question, "Does she know about you and frogs?" Sitting in his room, surrounded by a myriad of stuffed frogs, frog posters, books about frogs, frog knick-knacks...he replied simply and without even a touch of irony, "Well, it's kinda hard NOT to..." Point taken. Proceed...) Suppose we just gloss right over the fact that this child wants to purchase a Valentine's Day present for a girl...in 5th grade. (Good grief...) He completed his explanation of Operation Girlfriend by stating, "I'm gonna start getting stuff together on Tuesday night, with a card...a homemade one, not like the kind you buy in Hallmark, with all those sappy love sayings on them. (Sigh. I just have no words, at this point...and yet I'm still babbling....funny how that works...)
So we did, in fact, make the arduous (5-minute) journey to the Hallmark store and pick up Smitten, the adorable pink amphibian Beanie Baby. Meanwhile, Riley let slip that he intended to profess his feelings via the written word, in his card. But all three members of his loving family put the kibosh on that idea pretty quickly. Of course, he was worried about being rejected, which is perfectly natural. (And painful, soooooooo awful....maybe you're not ready....there's always High School...or even College...) My angle was that girls prefer to be asked in person, because it's more special and memorable. I believe the Male Posse conveyed something more along the lines of, "Man up, dude--chicks want you to ask them to their face, not in some lame card." (Gotta love 'em...)
Then the goshforsaken snow happened...again...canceling school and temporarily whiting out the class celebrations. Riley therefore was granted ample time to finalize the details of his big conversation with his classmate...and then there was just the waiting...through the storm...and President's Day...until at long last the postponed Hearts-and-Flowers soirees could commence. This morning before bopping off to school, Riley solemnly shared, "I'm worried she'll say she doesn't want a boyfriend. She might just want to be friends." (So young...so worldly-wise...how did this happen?) I offered him sympathy and well-wishes...and then thought about it often today, wondering what was going to transpire. When he arrived home in the afternoon I nonchalantly inquired, "So, how was the party?" "Good," he responded, "and before you ask, I didn't have time, because I had to finish a writing assignment." Drat! Now we have to continue with bated breath for at least one more day...the suspense just might slay me! Stay tuned for our next episode...and keep your fingers crossed!