Saturday, October 8, 2011
8. Going on 13.
It was only late July when I was belatedly cleaning out the backpacks from the school year (which I have vowed to do earlier next year), that I found a ring. Silver with a large 10 carat pink heart. Well I am not entirely sure of the carat sizing of pink plastic. I learned at the time that this was a parting gift from P who over the summer moved away. Not to-Timbuktu far, just out-of-the-school-district far.
It was only at Sydney's birthday sleepover party where 'telling secrets' figure prominently on the agenda, that I learned that P actually got down on one knee and presented the ring. Apparently there was discussion over whether there ought to be a good bye kiss, with the resolution being a unanimous 'no'.
A couple weeks ago, I was chatting with Sydney after school. She recounted who she played with at recess and lunch and a new name popped up, a boy "T'. It is not that unusual for Sydney to play with boys and there were quite a number of girls who played with her that particular day, but I had a hunch.
"So, do you have any new boyfriends?"
"Well, not that you mention it, today, T said he wanted to do something private with me on the field."
While that phrase strikes fear in the heart of every mother of a little girl, what T wanted to do privately was to tell Sydney that he liked her. Sydney did not reciprocate in the sharing of feelings she said, but she owned, it turns out they had become boyfriend and girlfriend.
I asked her how that happened since she didn't tell T that she liked him in return.
"He said it for me, Mommy".
I got a little concerned that she needs to be able to find her voice in these situations, but she did recount how later they were playing hopscotch, and she put her foot on the number that has a heart, and said "this is your heart" and he did the same in return and apparently this has some kind of civil union status for the grade three set.
She was definitely feeling a little badly about her long distance whatever-that-is with P. I tried with all my heart not to be alarmed but only amused by these turn of events. I was about 25 when I got up to the point that I had two boyfriends (total, not simultaneously - that is a feat I never managed).
The next day though, she had it all resolved:
"Mommy, I told T I thought things were going a little too fast and that I just wanted to be good friends. He agreed so we are just friends. Oh Mommy, can you email P's Mom and ask her if I can be pen pals with him?"
I am wondering where she finds the confidence to speak so candidly, and to know her own self so well. And how can she teach this to the rest of us. That is when I am not trying to figure out what we are going to do when she is 13.