Monday, June 17, 2013

Summer of Love?

Girls have been the theme around our house lately. The Boy and his friends talk about girls, giggle about girls and tease each other relentlessly about girls.
These wee men are only 10, just going into grade 5. Does the opposite sex matter when you are 10?

I'm getting old. I can't remember.

My fear has always been that I will raise a boy who is an ass. I don't want my kid to be the guy that breaks hearts and leaves them crying. On the other hand I don't want him tied down to one too early, never seeing who else is out there. I'm a firm believer in experiencing life and enjoying youth. I'm rushing things, but all this girl talk has me thinking ahead to his teen years, which really aren't that far away. I recall Grade 6 being a year where hand holding started and we used to go for walks with boys and talk and laugh for hours. Nothing ever really happened, it was always friendly and extremely awkward, more often than not your time with that special someone was spent while in the safety of your group of friends. Playing games and chasing around.

Can't it stay like that forever?

 I love early summer, the Lilacs are in bloom and their smell is overwhelming. I first kissed a boy under a lilac tree. That memory will stay with me forever. It's funny how certain smells can be attached to a time or person. This time of year always takes me back. I see young people I know from the neighbourhood out walking together and sitting in the park across the street. Playfully poking at each other, too afraid to go for a hand hold or sneak a kiss, but still getting to touch. Feeling that rush when an arm brushes against another or allowing legs to touch while they sit and share a Slurpee.
Some things never change.

Will my son be that memory for a girl somewhere in our neighbourhood someday? I hope so. It's hard to imagine him being Don Juan as he stumbles around the house, grunting replies and eating us out of house and home while wiping his dirty hands on his clothes.

While I was going through some paperwork the other day I discovered an old diary of mine. This book was a gift from an auntie who inscribed it with the most amazing words.
"Within these pages record all those moments of innocent days that soon will be no more." 
Words lost on a girl of 10 but very poignant 32 years later.

Of course I had to read my diary entries. My childish handwriting dating from 1982 and onward. Recorded are some of my first babysitting gigs described in detail, my excitement for a Christmas concert at school that we had been practicing for weeks. As I continued scanning and reading the dates neatly written on the top of each page the years passed and along with my handwriting my journal entries changed too. Boy's names started to creep into my writing.  My age at this point-13-only three years older than my son.
Holy mother of pearl.
Along with wishes for a certain boy to notice me, I was surprised at notes I had kept inside that book. One in particular touched me as it was the first time I had been asked on a date, not done in person mind you but the invite carefully written out by hand on lined paper. That boy's telephone number clearly at the bottom for me to call and RSVP. I wonder if I called that number today if that boy's parents would answer the phone? Did I call him? I can't remember- I hope I did, or maybe I was so overwhelmed by being asked out by an older boy (GAWD) I lost my nerve. I hope I didn't hurt that boy by not reciprocating his affection. Did I have the balls to talk to him, or at least write him a note back? Does that boy-now a 43 year old man look back like I am now and is he curious about 'what if'?

It makes me wonder if my son's female classmates have little diaries that they are dutifully recording within details about birthday parties and weddings they've attended. Too soon their journal entries will likely be similar to mine.
Will my son's name be within those pages? Will kind words surround his name?
The Boy listens to brooding 80's music with me. He laughs when I sing along and try to get him to dance with me. Every song carries a memory for this old mum. Taking me back to school dances, days spent at the beach, house parties in family homes while moms and dads kindly sat upstairs not interrupting except to bring snacks. All of the music is new for him as it gets remixed into hip hop songs and covered by the latest Disney child star. Will these same recycled songs be his soundtrack for his teen years?- fittingly so. He has all of these experiences to look forward to.

"Is it bad that I have friends that are girls?" asks the boy
"No son. It's wonderful that you have friends that are girls. Always be their friend. They'll need you to be their friend."

So begins what could be the "Summer of Love" around here. The girls present themselves at the door and politely ask if The Boy is home. I hear their laughter and teasing each other from across the street in the park. Someday when one of those little girls smells a certain bath soap or maybe even Lilacs, The Boy - my boy will come to mind and hopefully she will smile.

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