It’s happening. I knew it was coming and I knew there was nothing I could do to stop it, but now it’s really happening and I have to face the fact.
My son has girls asking him out.
Ryan came home yesterday and told me, “I think a girl just asked me out.” Let me back up a little. He likes to wear what we call “smart alec” t-shirts; the kinds with snippy sayings on them like “How many losers does it take to stand there and read this t-shirt? One: YOU.” Apparently this girl had read his t-shirt and they talked about it, and then she asked him what his favorite movie was so he answered, and THEN she said, “We should go see a movie some time.” I don’t know what his answer was–until this minute, I didn’t think to ask–but he asked me, “Did she ask me out?”
Of course, I had to tell him yes. My first thought was, “Holy geez, times have changed. When I was 13 I wouldn’t have DREAMED of asking a boy out. Attagirl!” I even told him so. To put one’s hopes out there in public to be stomped on is a risky proposition, and the fact that she saw a goal and went for it, risking failure and possible heartbreak and humiliation, deserves applause in my book.
But this is my kid we’re talking about.
I wasn’t allowed to date ’til I was 14, but apparently no one was interested enough to ask me ’til I was 17. (And we won’t go into that.) Ryan seems to be suffering a similar self-esteem issue that I had, in that he can’t figure out WHY this girl would want to ask him out. I told him, “You’re cute, you’re smart and you’re funny. What’s not to like?” I then reminded him about how he’s been a charmer since he drew his first breath. The nurses in the nursery were all ga-ga about him. “Ooh, look at those big blue eyes!” I’m lucky they brought him back to my room; they were having too much fun watching him watching them. (Of the 9 or so babies in the nursery, when it came time for visitation hour, he was the only one awake, and he just laid there, looking around, watching the world around him.) He still can’t figure out why a girl would want to go out with him.
God help me, I think we have to have the “birds and bees” talk soon. I have friends (and my sister) with little ones. They talk about Sesame Street and diapers and preschool. I’m trying to screw up the nerve to figure out where to start this conversation.
It’s just like in Fiddler on the Roof: “I don’t remember getting older; when did they?” <sniff, sniff>