Friday, February 15, 2008

Teeter Without the Totter

My son is quite the smitten kitten. He's had crushes on girls at school before, but right now he has the crush to beat all crushes. He spends time diligently scribbling notes in a notebook at home, making up "blueprints" on how to win this girl's affections. His plans include things like "Make sure to do nice things for [S.] and keep doing nice things." I don't want to laugh and have him think I'm making fun of him, but the cuteness is killing me.

We made valentines for his class and he wanted to make a huge valentine for S., who's in one of the other classes. Not long ago, he waited for her after reading group and held the door open for her. He chases her and her friends on the playground, but when I asked what he'd do if he caught her, he said he didn't know. He told me he feels like he has "hope," because "S. hates J. [another boy who likes her -- apparently a lot of boys like her!], but she at least doesn't hate me." He says he likes her because she's pretty and nice and "always has good behavior." I hope this affinity for good girls continues as he gets older!

Yesterday he told me that S. is one of the girls who changes the lyric sheets on the overhead projector during school assembly singing time. "You know, Mom," he said, "when S. is the one changing the word sheet thingies, I sometimes have an eye problem." Oh? What kind of problem? I asked. The kiddo has mild strabismus in one eye, so I immediately began to worry a little. "Well," he said, "I can't always see the words [uh-oh] because I'm too busy looking at S.!" Ah, okay. Relief.

Once he asked me if I'd ever liked someone who didn't like me back. Oh...HONEY. Boy, have I ever. "Really?" he asked. "How many?" Lots, I said. Remember John G.? "Yeah," he said. "And you liked him since first grade and he didn't even tell you he liked you back until you moved away [after fifth grade], right?" Yep, I said. Like, THANKS, John G.! "Yeah, thanks!" said the kiddo with gusto.

The truth is I've had so many unrequited loves in my life I've lost count. I don't regret them, but I sure remember them. For instance, there was one guy I had a crush on during my senior year of high school; I convinced a younger guy friend of mine to dress up like a delivery person and deliver a rose to the guy's house. That went over like a fart in church.

As an adult, I once had a crush on a handsome, talented local actor who played an angel in a musical I'd seen numerous times. I had flowers sent to the backstage door one night and he called me the next day to thank me, but that was it.

When I worked in aerospace, I fell for a good-looking guy who seemed interested. I asked him to lunch and he accepted, only to cancel on the day we were supposed to go. He said he'd had a flu shot and wasn't feeling good, so I told him I hoped he felt better soon and to call if he wanted to reschedule. He never called back.

And of course there was the kiddo's dad.

Recently, after listening to my son tell me about all the nice things he's been doing for S., I told him it was really great that he was doing so many nice things for S., and asked if S. was doing nice things for him. "Nope," he replied. I told him that it's pretty neat if both people do nice things for each other, and that after a while, if he's the only one doing nice things, he might want to think about spending more time with friends who do nice things back. After all, I can think of several kids, boys as well as girls, who like the kiddo and enjoy spending time with him. I explained that when both people in a friendship do nice things for each other, this is called balance. (I know -- no need to say it.) "I don't care!" he said. "I'm going to keep doing nice things for S. no matter what she does!"

The kid is doomed. ;^)