Ahhh… February….month of “new beginnings” – February is often the month we start to see early flowers blooming such as crocus and daffodil, and it truly feels like Spring is right around the corner. If you’re getting impatient to get your hands in some dirt, check out this great checklist on the ACES’s Alabama Gardener’s Calendar. It’s a great checklist of things you can do each month to get your gardens ready and keep them producing all year long.
This particular February, however, we apparently have another new beginning that is the source of great amusement in our family.
My son, Ben, has a girlfriend.
He’s in the first grade.
I discovered this the other day in cleaning out his backpack. There were many wadded up pieces of paper, which is not unusual, but one caught my eye with the phrase “I heart U Ben.” So of course I had to look all the other papers, and they were all proclaiming love for Ben. I quickly questioned him before he left for school and all he said was yes, he had a girlfriend and she tries to kiss him all the time. His sister found this hilarious, and we all launched into a chorus of “I luuuuvvv you Ben!” and “You make meeeeee soooo happppeeeee!”
When I picked him up from school, I decided I’d ask him a bit more about it. The conversation went something like this:
Me: How was your girlfriend today, Ben?
Ben: Good. She just started loving me, I don’t know why. We’re not allowed to have girlfriends in the first grade; I want to keep it a secret but she is telling everyone! I don’t want my teacher finding out.
Me: Well, I can understand that, you are in the first grade.
Ben: She keeps trying to kiss me all the time!
Me: You can’t be kissing her… you’d get in trouble and you don’t need to be kissing anyone in the first grade.
Ben: Yeah. I want to sit next to Izzy (his friend) at lunch but she takes his seat!
Me: So she’s trying to drive a wedge between you and your friend (I ask this while laughing)?
Me: Well, do you like her back?
Ben: Of course I do, what’s not to like??!!
We talked a bit more about it, then I let it drop. I’m just glad he likes a girl in his own grade – his prior interest was in the 6th grade and he liked her because she gave him hugs all the time.
On the flip side, my daughter (who is in the 4th grade) never discusses boys… which is just fine with me. I don’t think I’m quite ready for that just yet. But, when you the subject comes up, it goes something like this:
Alice: (all weepy sounding) Mom, so-and-so won’t leave me alone, he annoys me all the time and I can’t concentrate!!!
Me: Sounds to me that he might like you if he is annoying you that much and won’t leave you alone.
Alice: (Bursts into tears and cries for 10 minutes, and won’t make eye contact) Mom! I don’t want to talk about it!
Do you think there is more than she’s letting on?! Hmmm. I think I see the onset of pre-pubescent hormonal fluctuations… and I don’t like it, not one bit.
In my day, there were no “I love u so much!” notes, rather, it was the “Do you like me? Circle yes or no!” notes that were passed back and forth in elementary school. And, it seemed like boy/girl interest started much later, not this early.
What’s your experience with young love? When did it start in your household?
Although Stacy De Smet grew up on a dairy farm in south-central Pennsylvania, she never anticipated becoming a farmer herself, but that's exactly what happened when she and her family moved to a small farm in Taft, TN, in November of 2005. Over the years they have turned Misty Ridge Stables into a thriving family farm. In addition to boarding horses and running a local CSA, they also offer classes in canning, gardening and many other farm related topics.