So, Mr G has a wee problem.
Oh, such a problem to have, but given the 12-year-old-girl-hormones-thing, and his tendency to think in terms of 'I am an island unto myself', we have something of a challenge on our hands!
Ah, but the fun, too!
Maybe not so much for him, as he finds it disturbing (though also gratifying by the smile he couldn't quite suppress) to have girls come up and just stand there watching him on the playground. Or talking to him about his hair. Or hearing from his friends that so-and-so likes him.
When he says 'likes me' the sound has italics.
LIKES. Like, uh, 'that kind of like'. AHHHHH! he says, run away!
Not sure what to do.
A bit overwhelmed.
All of that.
And he's Mr G. So he didn't at first buy it - were girls really that hot over him?
So he tested the theory. He went and sat by himself on the playground. Looked pensive, and thoughtful, and solitary. Girls kind of wandered nearer and waved and smiled. The way he said it sounded like they giggled, too, though he didn't say so.
He was freaked a bit by it.
So I told him he had a simple solution - stop sitting by himself looking pensive.
Heh. Kind of like saying 'if it hurts, stop doing it'.
He didn't find that so funny. Darn.
Anyway, we've been talking the last few days as a result, about the Girl Thing. And the Girlfriend Thing.
He was thrilled with the idea that he could use us Parents as a stick to beat them back with. Mr G, if a girl starts getting to the 'would you go out with me/be my boyfriend' level of conversation, you have my direct permission to say, 'Sorry, my parents won't let me have a girlfriend until I'm (whatever age he chooses to say, I suggested 14 was a fair start).'
They might argue or pout or count him out as too reliant on his parents, but hey, still problem solved.
And in the meantime? We talked about how to be friends with a girl. Talked about asking her questions, being nice but not encouraging excess, and allowing her to just be friends. Giving her room and time to chill out a bit, calm down, get to know him for real instead of just watching him on the playground and admiring his hair and his fabo new teeth (braces off!).
I asked him if he thought any of the girls he knew were cute.
I got The Look.
The OhPleezeYouMustBeKidding look. The look had italics, too.
Still, I thought it a fair question. And he gave it a fair thought, but couldn't come up with how to answer.
Me being me, I gave him a multiple choice answer to select from. He picked (very paraphrased as I was rather direct with my comments): "I'm not really interested in prepubescent/near-pubescent girls, thanks."
Okay, so he already has a preference for high school-to-college-age women, with their, er, physiological maturity in evidence. So to speak.
But he's also handling that aspect well - he thinks dating a girl who is not physically demonstrating a greater maturity is kind of freaky. Ew! Girls that age are not ready to date.
He likewise has a strong preference for waiting himself - he thinks both he and his peers should be much more grown up first.
Which isn't to say he won't be looking at the older girls. He already does. He'll admire the older girls/women, but he really does not want to act on it.
Fine by me, all around.
Still, the start of some new conversations. About learning about girls from girls, and understanding that they are different from each other as well as different from him, and being okay with that. I want him to be able to hold to the statement he made when he was seven: that girls are just people, and there's nothing wrong with being friends with them.
It's kind of the Acceptant Loving Faithful thing, starting up for real. A new set of filters to bring in focus - remember that they are themselves, accept that even when you don't understand it, act kindly and with affection toward your friends, and act faithfully toward them and yourself.
Starting with Acceptant for now.
He seems okay with that perspective. Considering it. Taking it seriously. We'll talk strategies for conversations that don't go to heck immediately, and how to set a boundary (and how annoying it is to have to set it repeatedly, but also how very hard it is to fight hormones so some compassion and patience required in the process).
Is it weird that I think it is really really FUN to get to where we're talking sex, and dating, and pornography, and the implications of being too friendly, STDs, social risk, and heartbreak? I am thrilled that he went to Ep first, told him what was going on that was bothering him (Girl. Likes me. Help!!).
I'm also glad he then came to me after talking to his dad, and asked if dad had filled me in (Nope, he hadn't had time, but it was nice to not have shared it yet, on this go, as that set the tone and required he fill me in on the whole deal). And then that he went ahead and told me. Just let the conversation roll.
It's really exciting to me to watch him hit this stage, to see the teen inside the boy peek out, to watch the suppressed satisfaction of being attractive to someone leak out around the edges, but at the same time see the will to make sane choices remain.
I love that we get to have these talks. That he trusts us with it. I don't fool myself that all the kids will be that way with us - they're each so different. But I'm glad I get to have this child for my first run at it. I'm sure I'll make some mistakes, but hopefully nothing too catastrophic.
And meanwhile, I'll let him carry on working on learning how to be friends with girls. Hormonal preteen/tween girls.
Provided they don't go all weird on him, anyway.