I was waiting in line to pick Drew up from school and I noticed a sign tied to the fence. As I edged closer and began squinting to read it, I noticed that it said something about a dance. I quickly lost interest. Drew is only in second grade, and therefore I have SEVERAL years before I have to worry about chaperoning and slow dancing and first kisses. Whew! As I got a little closer, I began reading the banner out of sheer boredom... dance.. gym... blah, blah... ages 5-12... WHAT!?!?! 5-12 ??? Okay... maybe I'm over reacting, but does that not seem insane to any other mamas out there? When I was in school, dances were a right of passage for middle schoolers. Dances started the drama of wearing makeup and worrying about who's going with who and who's wearing what and who wants to kiss who. Dance = Dating Drama. Maybe I'm just old fashioned. Maybe it's more of a party/hang out kinda thing nowadays than it was for us, but it just rubs me the wrong way. Well, we talked about it. Drew didn't want to go any way (thank goodness!), and so we will just revisit the issue if he changes his mind in the next five years. Tragedy averted.... until...
Drew gets in the car today after school, and I hit him with the daily barrage of questions. How was your day today? What did you do today? Did you eat your lunch? How did you do on your school work? Did you understand everything that you learned today? Did you take an AR test? Did you make any new friends? You know... the usual.
Well when I got to the friend question he replied, "about that... do you remember the girl Maddy I told you about that sits at my table now?"
"Of course" I said, "the one that cries all of the time right?"
"Yep. That's her. She told me I was hot and cute today and that I'm her boyfriend now"
"Oh ReEeEeAlLy (trying to remain calm). Well... do you like her?"
"Do you want to be her boyfriend?"
"I don't really care, but it seems REALLY important to her"
Ok. I am so unprepared for this conversation. I really appreciate having time to gather my thoughts so I can say exactly what needs to be said with out rambling or dancing around the point, but I guess parenting is often about being prepared to talk about absolutely anything at any given time. So, we went on to discuss how you choose a girlfriend, finding someone you enjoy being with and someone who has the same standards as you, what it means to be in a relationship, respecting each other (ie. not just telling someone they're your boyfriend), and all of the other things I expected to talk to my teenager, not my seven year old about.
I am so glad that Drew felt comfortable talking to me about this little situation. It's times like these that let me know I'm on the right track. I have established an open line of communication. He feels completely comfortable talking to me and knows that I love him unconditionally, and in return, I offer him advice when prompted, but never judgement. My constant goal is never to control him or have him be submissive to my will, but instead to raise a person that can govern himself and make his own educated decisions, and this conversation just reaffirmed that my parenting style is reaping the results that I desire.
On another note, has our society really changed that much in the last twenty years? It wasn't that long ago that I was sitting in school. My first crush was also in second grade, but I was waaaay too shy to even look at him. I never would have dreamed of walking up to him with a pick-up line like "you're really hot". Seriously, what is her Mom/iCarly teaching her?? Oi.
Well, we rounded up our conversation with a few solid guidelines... the main one being NO KISSING. He is WAY too young for this, but this trampy little seven year old has me on edge and I don't want my baby to end up with mono or the swine flu. lol. So, I informed him that his lips were only for me, Daddy, and Maddi. He started laughing so hard that tears were rolling down his face as he managed to sputter "mom.. HER name is Maddy." Dang it!! I was doing so well...