Posted in Mommyhood

A Lesson in Love

Last Updated on November 15, 2020 by World's Okayest Mom

Boys, Big Days and Big Deals

My Girl and Jane were whispering with giddy smiles when I came home Monday.

The Husband rolled his eyes and said, “I can’t handle this.”

That’s when I knew.

Boys

The subject du jour was boys.

Ok. My Girl is 9 years old. 9 years old. It’s too soon for boys, right?

Sadly, I’ve had this feeling for some time. My Girl is going to be boy crazy. That much was obvious when she told me she fell in love in first grade. That first attempt at love ended in heartbreak for My Girl (see here), but she’s not one to stay down when thrown off a horse.

Literally. She’s been thrown off a horse twice and she’s still eager for horseback riding lessons every Tuesday.

So, here enters her third-grade crush.

Her boy may be better than my boy

I have yet to meet this boy, though I saw him once for just an instant. Here’s what I know: he’s the new kid in town, moved here from California (she goes for the exotic type… can’t blame her there, though I’m more partial to Australia than California); he’s the cousin of a very nice girl in her class that we’ve known for a few years; and on a scale of one to ten – one being a trouble maker and ten being a “role model kid” (My Girl’s code for goody-two-shoes), this boy is an 8 (My Girl did the scoring).

All in all, I have to say I approve.

Oh, and this boy is apparently very generous. Over the last two months, My Girl has come home with the following evidence of his infatuation: a dragon keychain, a purple gemstone, a squishy loaf of bread that I suspect is actually a dog toy, and three Pokemon cards.

While that seems like a scarce and odd bit of gifts from a suitor, take into account that my birthday present from The Husband (a girls’ weekend in Arizona with Leslie Ann) was cancelled by the stupid ‘Rona and not replaced. My Girl is actually making out better than me this year.

I’m not bitter.

My Girl, her boy and the “big day”

So that brings me to the scene coming home from work. Third Grade Suitor had given My Girl the above mentioned crystal. And My Girl and Jane were in raptures.

They also realized that My Girl is woefully behind in proving her affection, so she needed to do something big.

So the two plotted out My Girl’s “Big Day.”

Yes, they called it her “Big Day.” As in telling The Husband, he didn’t understand but they needed to prepare for the “big day.” Or as in, My Girl shouldn’t have to help with the dishes because we know that tomorrow is a “big day” for her.

The drama is strong with this one.

So My Girl and Jane spent the afternoon preparing an outfit (frilly dress from H&M, gemstone headband and choker necklace), the gift (a seashell from our recent trip to San Diego), a checklist for the morning (so My Girl wouldn’t forget any of their preparations) and a script (in case My Girl was nervous when presenting her token of love).

I believe it was at this point when The Husband realized he “can’t handle this.”

Dear, I hate to break it to you, but this is just the beginning.

Luckily, I have a back-up plan for when things get worse in regards to My Girl’s love life. Her beautiful Aunt Penny knows boy crazy more than anyone else in our family. Somehow the fertility gods didn’t see fit to bless her with any girls yet – just two boys – so I’m going to ship My Girl her way when the boy fever takes over. I’m pretty sure Penny has it coming.

After an afternoon of preparation, My Girl was ready for her big day.

The “Big Day” gets real

That morning, she got up early. There was no argument over her outfit since it had been carefully laid out the night before.

There was a slight argument over shoes since My Girl needed something “fancy.” I gave up on fancy shoes ages ago when I realized My Girl will only wear variations of cowgirl boots. We have play cowgirl boots, fancy cowgirl boots, colorful cowgirl boots (which are really just rain boots with polka dots) and warm cowgirl boots (which are snow boots, but I’ll do what it takes to get a pair of shoes on her feet)

There was a plea to “order some on Amazon” but even my trusty Amazon app can’t deliver in 20 minutes… though I just came up with a great commercial idea for Jeff Bezo when he launches his drone delivery…

The biggest disappointment though was that My Girl forgot to paint her nails the night before. It must not have made it on the checklist.

I told her I would paint them if, and only if, she was ready for school with at least 20 minutes to spare.

Guess what?

I painted her nails. Red and pink alternating with sparkles.

Hmmm… Remember my morning struggles (if you don’t, you can refresh your memory here)? It never occurred to me to invoke her boy craziness to get her out of the door on time.

The most surprising thing wasn’t that My Girl was ready early. It’s rare, but it does happen. But I reminded her that she needs to sit still to allow her nails to dry – thus why she never lets me paint them. Her response?

“He’s worth sitting still.”

If that’s not the next blockbuster chick flick line, I don’t know what is. Put that up there with “You had me at hello” and “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.”

And if that wasn’t enough to prove how serious she was, she even let me paint her thumb nails. My Girl NEVER lets me paint her thumb nails because the nail polish comes off in her mouth when sucking her thumb.

When I asked her about it, she said she didn’t want Third Grade Suitor to know she sucks her thumb.

Here’s where I had to fight my feminist ideals with my motherly desires. The feminist in me wanted to stop My Girl right then and there and tell her she doesn’t need to change anything about herself for a boy.

But the motherly desire wants My Girl to stop sucking her thumb. Right now. No, yesterday. No nine years ago.

Can you take a stab at which one won out?

My Girl with painted fingernails
Isn’t she beautiful? What boy wouldn’t notice her?

A lesson on the “Big Day”

So while I didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to teach My Girl about self love and confidence in herself (after all, I’m just the World’s Okayest Mom), I did figure this would still turn into a chance to learn something about love.

“Let me tell you something about boys,” I told her, as she put on the finishing touches of her special outfit – “perfume” aka body spray from Bath and Body Works. “They don’t always notice things that are important to us. Sometimes you’ll look really nice, and they won’t notice.”

Then, as I continued to think about my own experiences. “And then sometimes when you don’t look very nice, they do notice.”

Bottom line: Don’t be disappointed if this nine-year-old boy doesn’t know the difference between My Girl’s normal hair style and today’s style where she “brushed it extra good.”

The Husband had the same thought, because as we were walking out the door, he told her, “Let me tell you a secret. Boys don’t pay attention.”

Amen, Brother.

So My Girl headed out the door – ready to face her new love. She had on her pretty dress, extra brushed hair, painted nails, perfume, the seashell to present, and her cleanest cowgirl boots (our compromise since I convinced her Amazon couldn’t make the emergency delivery).

We even practiced what she was going to say when giving the seashell on the way to school.

(Because My Girl and Jane are just the cutest pair, they had scripted it out the night before. Jane was shocked My Girl didn’t bring the notecards with her, but My Girl shrewdly thought that might look weird.)

Making her Big Day a big deal

I know The Husband – and probably some of you readers – wondered why I let My Girl go through so much trouble. Why did I take her so seriously? Why did I make myself late for work to paint her nails and even allow a teeny bit of make up (highlighter on her cheeks) on my little girl?

Because this was a big deal to her.

No, this wasn’t a big deal to me. But to her, today, this was everything.

And if I don’t support her in this boy drama, will she ever trust me with real boy issues?

I’m resolved that My Girl may be just a wee bit boy crazy. I don’t know exactly how to deal with that and I don’t think there’s any stopping it. So I guess I’ll just make sure I’m there next to her for the ride.

And part of that is being there when the ride breaks down. Or when she breaks down.

That was my expectation when she came home from school after her “big day.” I expected tears and heartbreak and a boy who didn’t notice how special My Girl is.

Instead, she came home with more gifts from her admirer.

So much for teaching her a lesson in love.

I think My Girl may have better luck in love than I do…

Share your own imperfections.