I feel compelled to report the following for those of you who do not have ready access to tomorrow’s adults. Please be on alert: the landscape and make-up of the mate selection process is currently undergoing radical transformation.
I came into possession of this important information via what my college professors called a primary source (it’s likely that there is now a new name for this, but I have not yet reached this topic in my research). I learned this from my seven-almost-eight-year-old third grader who was recounting her day in excruciating detail last night as I made dinner. I was listening (kind of, well, at least I was trying to look like I was listening) when I happened to catch the word “boyfriend” in amongst the words tumbling over each other.
Please be assured that normally I am not startled by the use of this particular word.
Upon hearing it in this context, however, I immediately stopped dead in my tracks and asked for detailed clarification.
(Being the accomplished multi-tasker that I am I also mentally went back to my own third grade experience. Did we have boyfriends in third grade? I searched my memory but the only thing I could find was the vague recollection of a boy who sat in front of me in class–Ben–who got busted for picking his nose all the time. Alas, no boyfriend per se.)
Hannah explained that yes, indeed, you could have a boyfriend if you were in third grade.
After my breathing returned to normal I managed to inquire seemingly innocently, “What does it mean to have a boyfriend?”.“Well, I’m not sure except I think you’re supposed to call the boy’s house and hang up the telephone.”
“And how,” I asked next, “do you decide which boy should be your boyfriend?”
Again, my mind drifted back to my dim memories of youth. As I waited for her answer I tried to guess her response: “He’s cute, he’s nice, he’s smart . . . ?”
Hannah looked over at me with mild disgust and said: “By relay race, of course!”
Here’s hoping that the slide into young adulthood at our house slows down a little bit (by the way, use of the telephone is now officially off-limits). I hope we won’t have to deal with the whole boyfriend thing for a very, very long time.
In the meantime, as for my own challenge to face the fact that my babies aren’t babies anymore well, all I can say is:
“Get ready, get set . . . go!” and “Tag! I’m it!”