What do you do when your son has found the love of his life--and he's six years old?
My middle child is barely halfway through kindergarten, just lost his first tooth, but has already fallen hard and fast for P., a girl in his class. I noticed that he talked about her a lot. And every time I asked him about his friends at school, her name always came up.
A few months back he informed us that he asked her to marry him...and she said yes.
Insert gasping and fainting here.
Shortly after that he asked me how much houses cost. When I told him, his eyes got big. "I'm going to have to tell P. because we are going to have to get jobs and save our money." I thought his love would fade into the sunset, but it's only grown stronger and the marriage and future questions have grown more frequent.
"When P. grows a baby do I have to cut the cord?"
And the when-I-grow-up scenarios are non-stop.
While helping me grate cheese for dinner he says: "I'm going to have to learn to make a cheese sandwich for P."
"When I'm grown, I'm going to learn to drive so I can take P. to visit Grandma."
"When I'm a grown man, I'm going to buy a motorcycle so my kids won't ask to listen to their songs in the car. And there's only going to be room for P. to ride on the back."
I told him by the time he grows up, he'll have liked a dozen girls and probably find someone else to marry. He seemed offended by this thought. No way, it's P. or no one.
I read that 5 is the age when romantic love first arrives and it's a very real feeling. There's all kinds of research behind it--so that put my mind at ease..a little bit. It's weird to see him light up when he talks about her.
Today when I picked him up from school we saw P. and her father leaving campus. I glanced in the rear-view mirror at my son and he was gazing at her with dreamy eyes and a smile on his face until she was out of view. Oh, the sweetness of the first crush!
He's only six but soon he will be 16 years old and then 26 years old. I realize that the groundwork is already being laid for his future relationships. I often wonder if I'm teaching him well. When he grows up, will he be the kind of man and husband that I'm proud to say I raised? Will his future wife thank me for a job well done? I sure do hope so.
In the meantime, I pray for him. That he will stand firm and solid in his responsibilities as a man. I also pray for his future wife. I pray that she is being nurtured in a good home. That her heart is being guarded and that she is not scarred physically or emotionally. I find myself pointing out good examples of what a man and husband should do. I want him to know that love is not just a feeling. Love is a commitment and a choice.
Today, he said he and P. were having a private conversation under the slide at recess when a girl came over teasing them, "kiss each other." Instead of giving into peer pressure my son said, "no, we're going to save that for when we are grown up and married." Made me proud.
My prayer is that my little boy learns: