Last week Kate came home from kindergarten devastated. She tossed her backpack aside and muttered, “I don’t want to talk about it.”

Remember how my kids can’t keep secrets? Well, about an hour later, I got the scoop. She had overheard her “crush” tell his best friend who he “like liked” and it wasn’t her! Unable to believe her ears, she approached this best friend later on to confirm the rumor. It was true!! And then to make matters worse, another little girl blurted out in front of the whole class who Kate had been crushing on. Now, at 6 or 16, that is embarrassment to the 10th degree.

She moped around all afternoon feeling all flustered, but by dinnertime we were starting to joke about it.  The kids had fun trying to come up with a proper punishment for the friend who ratted her out. We talked about “who needs stinky boys anyways.” Brothers are the exception, of course.

But yesterday she bounded in the door, all rosy cheeked and flushed. She announced it had been a wonderful day at kindergarten.

“What made it so great, honey?”

“I have a new crush!” she confided.

Another one? Now here’s where it gets tricky. As the mom, I feel it is my duty to forbid all crushing on stinky boys until she has graduated from college….okay, so maybe high school. I don’t want my darling, naive rose starting down this path already!! Doesn’t she know what they’ll be thinking in 10 years? Does she not see that she is a smart, independent girl with a bright future who doesn’t need the validation of any boy except her doting father?

But at the same time, I must keep this line of communication open. The “talk about boys with mom” line. Not every mom gets that and I sure don’t want to loose it. I have a feeling I’ll have an easier time keeping the line open rather than trying to pry it open later on.

So, deep breath…..

“Who is it?”

She tells me. And then over a bowl of fishy crackers we talk about him. We also talk about what’s appropriate for a kindergartner. Thinking boys are cute is okay. But there is to be no telling him about it, no hand holding, no hugging, no note passing, and most definitely noooo kissing.

“I know mom!” Eye roll.  “I just think he’s cute.”

Okay. Cute is good. Babies are cute, puppies are cute, kittens are cute, hamsters are cute. I can handle cute. I’d be a hypocrite if I said I never thought a boy was cute in elementary school. So, cute it is…

We both sigh. Hers is in a day dream, mine is to keep my head from spinning.

Maybe I should consider a pet.


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