Yesterday she came running off the bus, face beaming. She hugged me so tight. She couldn’t wait to share the news with me, but patiently waited as my other two were telling me about their days simultaneously. I try to get one to go, then the next, so they all have a turn to share about their day.
When it was her turn, she told me the story of how this boy she likes came up to her and said he would ask her to the dance but he has baseball. So instead, he wanted to know if she would be his girlfriend. My daughter, ever so cool, said maybe as her entire insides screamed OMG YES! She wanted to come home and ask permission.
She’s 11 and in 6th grade. First year of middle school. Even as I type, it still feels like she’s a baby. While 11 is certainly not old or anywhere near grown-up, I am proud of her for wanting to consult her Dad and me before she said yes. She wasn’t sure if she was allowed to have a boyfriend and didn’t want to break any rules at home. She’s at an age where girls and boys are starting to like each other. Some girls have boyfriends while others wish a boy liked them, and some girls don’t care yet.
If it were up to her Dad, he would’ve said absolutely not, no boyfriends. I told him they are innocent and I don’t have a problem with it. This kid doesn’t even have a phone yet, so that’s a good sign in my book. But I remember my first boyfriend and I was in 5th grade. We would go to movies together and hold hands. I would put my head on his shoulder as we watched Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. It was such a sweet time that I look back on so fondly. Innocent and so full of excitement, and I want that for my daughter.
As a Mother, though, it’s crazy the thoughts that come up when this “issue” first arises in your home. Are they going to want to actually spend time together outside of school? Will I get to meet him? Will kids at school be nice to them or tease them all the time? Will this be her first heartbreak? There’s no way to prepare myself, or her, for what is to come. But for today, she is so excited to go tell him that she would like to be his girlfriend. So today, while my heart aches just a little to see her at this milestone of growth, I celebrate with her.