A new development in 8-year-old Hedgehog's development--notice how blithely I trip from the total psychic meltdown of previous post, to lighthearted musings--made itself known last Saturday.
One of Hedgie's very best friends is a boy, I'll call him Hector, a marvelous charismatic little boy I believe I've spoken of before--he's naughty, rip-roaringly funny, and so kind with Hedgie, and he's an intellectual powerhouse, perfectly matched in his wide-ranging and obscure interests and little obsessions to her own idiosyncratic way of being in the world.
Last week, Hedgie and I were talking about crushes--who had one on whom in her class, among her friends. I asked--probably I shouldn't have, but I couldn't resist--"do you have any crushes going right now Hedgie?" She told me she had a crush on Hector. "Really?" I asked. "Do you think there's a difference between having a crush and being good friends?" "Yes," she replied. "There is a difference. But in Hector's case, I have a crush and a friendship. You know, I think he's really handsome."
Ah. Well, Hector is a handsome little boy. And, even more compellingly, he has such a courtly manner with Hedgie--deferring to her wishes, letting her hold his hand as they walk down the street. Friendship and a crush--on such lucky happenstance are marriages built. I should know. But I didn't mention this to her.
Saturday mornings Hedgie, Hector, and their other dear friend Nicole attend Tae Kwan Do classes, after which we all retire to the charming local cafe for Limonata, Whoopie pies, lavish paninis, and other high-end gastronomic delights (which at this moment in time, I might add, I can ill afford, but I figure, hey--what's life for if not a Saturday afternoon guilt-free indulgence...). The children take their own table and spend a nice hour discussing Lord knows what--they seem so sophisticated and well-behaved, until the moment when, suddenly, they aren't. We parents joke that that moment comes unbidden--and then they must be set free poste-haste, before chaos descends on the quiet little bistro--the three children bum-rush the door and crowd through it comically shoving--bursting forth wildly into the sunshine and fresh air like they'd just spent a month chained in the dankest of dungeons.
Usually, their reclaimed freedom is expressed in unstructured running, up and down the block, until they are winded. Last Saturday, though, one of the children called out "Kiss tag!!!!!" and of one accord they began a new--ominously new--game of, well, kiss tag. I needn't elaborate, I'm sure. Hector pursued the girls, who stayed a step ahead, shrieking, until they allowed themselves to be caught and kissed. Over and over, until it was decided that there would no longer be a "base" and so all bets were off. Screaming, catching, exaggerated smooching on cheeks.
The parents--well, we weren't sure what exactly to do. We were trying not to laugh, trying not to watch, trying to chat idly about other things.
I wonder what Hedgie will be like as she gets older. Will she be boy-crazy like me? I was, am, and always will be absolutely stark-raving boy-crazy, I know, I know, I've said it before. Even now I am, as boy crazy as a happily-faithfully-married woman can be. It's a joke in our household--Hedgie's aunt, my sis, is always warning Hedgie "don't be boy-crazy like your mama!" Hedgie always laughs.
I'm alarmed, but amused, but resigned to the inevitability of it all, but resistant--a kiss--so innocently given and taken--but still, watching my girl laughingly running away, and then letting him catch her--