Today the universe reminded me that I am raising a seven year old boy. A boy. Of course I knew he’d be a boy, from the moment my stomach swelled and rounded, even before the blue jelly was squeezed onto my skin and the ultrasound wand slid over my belly I knew.
Boys can be moody, and some of them don’t care for organized sports, preferring to harbor illusions of ninja-hood. Some of them prefer the mud and some would rather read on a blanket that they’ve dragged through the house, down the driveway, and spread on the fresh-cut grass. My boy is all of these boys. He changes as the sunlight does, his bright moods can soon cloud over and turn grey, and then quick as a flash back to bright yellow again. Sometimes his temper boils over, especially when angry or frustrated (this mood usually manifests while putting together Lego sets). Sometimes he’s quiet and thoughtful, writing letters in neat and even print to the girls he loves. Sometimes these notes are hidden, and I find them when I put away his clothes. Sometimes he broadcasts his new feelings, taping the notes on his walls.
Already the girls with blonde and crimson hair pull his attention the most, and his feelings for them are fleeting, sweet, and easily forgotten in favor of a sunny day outside, or an hour on the Playstation, or a chapter of Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
When I tell people (in whispers of course) about Xander’s little love letters to the girls he adores, they shake their heads and say it’s too soon! They start so young now!
Now? I don’t think it’s soon. I remember small crushes, intense infatuations, and complete head over heels obsessions at that age. I must have been seven or eight when I fell in love with Robert Plant after watching The Song Remains the Same on cable. Those tight jeans, that curly mess of hair. There was also a boy named Jordan in the first grade who really floated my boat. I used to sing songs about him in my room, recording pitifully heartsick lyrics into my dad’s handheld dictation recorder. I think those tiny grey tapes are gone still in my parent’s house…my first spoken curse words were documented on them. At six I whispered shit, dammit, fuck into the microphone in a tiny elfin voice, and didn’t erase the incriminating evidence. Maybe I should go hunting for the tapes, the next time I’m home.