Saturday, May 17, 2008

Girl Talk

Hedgehog has a crush. In fact, she tells me, a whole group of her girlfriends are having crushes, passing them around from child to child like a bad head cold. They’ve been confiding in each other, and she in turn confided in me. “Mama,” she said wistfully. “You have no idea how strong my feelings for him are.”

Well, I did have some idea. After all, there were signs: the constant chatter peppered liberally with his name, the singing aloud to “Son of a Preacher Man” over and over in her room.

I know she is only seven, but it really seems to come from the heart. After all, Sarge and I are not the sort of parents who tease inappropriately, “oh, is he your boyfriend?” at the first mention of a boy. We both abhor the use of that sort of suggestiveness, and presumption, with children. So she didn’t get the idea from us.

I wonder, though, if it’s genetic or something. I’ve always been boy-crazy. My first crush was in first grade, too, a desperate, inchoate love for my teacher, Matt. He had curly black hair and a fulsome ‘stache (hey, it was the 70s). He was a fellow grad student of my mom’s at Columbia University, so I got to see him once in awhile in civilian life, and what a thrill that was. His only rivals for my affection, and they did run a close second and third, were Kirk and Spock. Since those tender years, it’s been a steady stream of crushes, boys (and an occasional girl), then men, one after the other, ending with Sarge. Luckily, that crush has lasted…

Anyway, I wasn’t surprised to hear about the crush. I told her about “girl talk,” how much girls and ladies like to be together and share things that are on their minds, and that you could have girl talk with your friends and also sometimes with your mama. She seemed to like that, and she said, “mama, sometimes I would like to tell you things.” I knew what she meant, and I was very glad to hear her say it. I’m learning already that it’s better sometimes not to prompt with questions, but I figure it won’t hurt to remind her once in awhile that the lines of “girl talk” are open if she wishes.

And by the way, that's a hairpiece--a Hannah Montana hairpiece. We discovered it on a shopping trip, and both honed in on its gleaming glory as if of one accord--Hedgehog begged for it (although she hastened to remind me that she "hates Hannah Montana"--good girl) and I decided one is never too early to discover the great joys of a "switch." She proceeded to wear it all over the North Country--running around in the woods, picking wildflowers, tripping and falling into the icy lake water...where else, after all, does one wear a switch?

Ah, girlhood.


Suzanne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Skeeter said...

Ah the days of the monster crush ... I think you're absolutely right, teasing them about their feelings doesn't help at all. Respecting their feelings and helping them understanding those feelings is the best kind of parenting. You're doing great!

Those fads are kind of addicting. My son was really into the Pokemon craze back when ... and I'm still watching that crazy cartoon.

Suzanne said...

Leah, that was me. Sorry about that. Hope you had an opportunity to read it before I deleted. I'll write again when I have more energy. I deleted because I realized I put Rob's former office name in the post and I don't know if that's such a good idea. Am I being too paranoid?

XO Suze
P.S. Please do your regular housekeeping and remove the eyesore!

Leah said...

Oh, and I loooooved that comment too! Well, just know I read and appreciated the heck out of it!

Hi Skeeter! Yes, we like Pokemon too. My sister collects the cards because she loves the illustration work...

BEAST said...

Ah.....girl talk...I dont feel I can add much to this , but the hairpeace looks cool , it would be wild to hang it out theleg of my gym shorts :-)))

Leah said...

Now that, Beast, would be a sight to see!

Suzanne said...

I'm laughing. Beast is funny and skeeter is always the best. Honey, I'm so sorry I erased, but I remember Rob saying once when I wanted to post about our dear friend in NJ who is with the Attorney General's office and Rob said "Don't EVER mention his name or location because you realize that would jeapordize his life." They prosecute huge organized crime cases and he had just prosecuted one of the biggest in NJ history and gotten a conviction. I realize how important information is. So I'm trying to be more careful. I'm so free with information, but have to stop. I know you understand. I'm so glad you read it before I erased. I'm also glad you enjoyed it!!! I loved that post and the previous one. Leah, your cottage at the lake is my dream home. If I could live there or some place like it during the summer and in a warmer climate in the winter, I would find my bliss. Unlike Cece, I wouldn't change a thing (but that was too funny!), I would simply dust! Nothing more, nothing less. That is absolutely my perfect home. I saw it and exhaled. That's how I knew. I know homes like that in the Adirondack are hard to find now. Trust me, I've looked for 5 years. Maybe I'll get lucky one day. My mom doesn't think so, but I have hope!

If you sell, let me know, but I know you never will. Nor does anyone else.

You might want to visit Random Chick's blog. She wrote about the same thing you're dealing with. It was amazing. You deal with it differently, but struggle with the same issues. I loved being a bystander and not a mom. I'd like to see where the two of you meet.

I love you and hope you've had a great day.

XO Suze ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi Leah...on Suzanne suggestion I read your post because I'm experiencing some of this with my daughter, who is only FIVE YEARS OLD. It's amazing how early the boy-crazy stuff begins. I was also very boy-crazy and I'm hoping to give my daughter some advice on how to avoid some things. As you well know though, children may or may not listen to your advice. It's so hard to guide and yet let them experience what they have to to learn...I'm not looking forward to this as she gets older!!!!