During the last week of kindergarten Kid D came home from school and announced with both disgust and pride that, “Two girls in my class told everyone today that they loved (me)!” He made a sound like he was gagging, but I swear I also saw the faintest hint of a smile.
The other day when we were bowling Kid E noticed an older woman (she was, like, at least five-years-old) in the lane next to us playing with her family and announced to me, “She’s cute! I’m gonna go over and say hi to her!” and then he actually did. He is still sporting a mohawk and foot cast – he’s rocking the Bad Boy thing so seriously that I’m soon going to suggest he get a tattoo.
And yesterday within minutes of us arriving at the pool Kid D had two different girls come up to him and ask if he wanted to swim with them. He spent the rest of the afternoon playing pool games and having diving contests with his little girl friends, making sure to come back to me every once in a while to check in and throw me the occasional “I love you” or hug. Were they genuine or did I sense a touch of obligation?
Good Lord, I can not fathom that I am losing these boys to girls already.
There is a saying that gives me chills and is the root of the fear in my brain with regard to my sons growing up and leaving me forever and it goes something like, “A daughter is your daughter for the whole of her life, but a son is a son until he takes a wife.” You just know that some pissed off mother-in-law said that first, and she probably muttered “bitch” after she said “wife.”
Now I completely get the irony of the situation because Sheepdog has a mom and, technically, I guess I took him away from her. But that doesn’t really count because (A) he wanted to move away from West Virginia more than anything, so he left and I just went with him; (2) my mother-in-law and I are completely different people with very different approaches to parenting (we’re talking for this argument’s sake); and (d) Kid E is completely different from Sheepdog (while Kid D is EXACTLY the same, but that doesn’t help my point at all, so I am choosing to ignore it).
I know that these boys will all grow up and move out and move on to their own lives someday. And when that “someday” comes around I will even (maybe) be saying that I look forward to it. I guess I realize that the boys will go away on their own, regardless of whether or not girls play a part in the decision. But for now I like having my baby boys close by and I like that they rely on me and occasionally come find me for an “I love you” or hug, even if it is obligatory. I’m taking whatever I can get.
Wish me luck for tomorrow…