I observed a strange little phenomenon on Friday. It took me a little off guard, made me laugh and also opened my eyes to the fact that this motherhood thing is as easy as it’s gonna get right now. Right at this moment. It’s not going to get any easier. Which kinda stinks because motherhood is really hard right now.
We were in Walgreens picking up a certain variety of medicine that is supposed to ensure that no more little Stuarts enter this world when we ran into a group of giggly girls who had clearly walked over from the Middle School across the street. As I looked at them wandering the isles all silly-like I had a quick flashback to my own days of walking to this very plaza from the same school. The Walgreens is newer and now sits on the corner instead of in the back of the plaza, but it was still funny to watch them flitting about, laughing about things that weren’t even remotely funny and filling the sleepy store with the raucous sounds on tweendom.
At least they weren’t smoking around back, which may or may not be what I did back in my Walgreens days. I was such a rebel when I was 14. ::eyeroll::
As soon as we walked into the store, Sloan’s radar went off. He was immediately aware of the older girls that were in close proximity. And it turned him into something that is beginning to emerge with greater frequency the older he gets. This shouldn’t surprise me given recent comments he’s made, but I found myself utterly baffled by the abrupt change in behavior he exhibited. He was like a little bee, buzzing here and there, ever aware of the females in his presence.
Like every other girl, my mom told me as a kid that the reason boys bothered me was because they liked me. I never believed her, of course. I just thought boys were incessantly annoying. Until, you know, the day they became not annoying.
But as I watched Sloan turn into a ninja warrior in that store, hiding around corners, jumping out and pretend shooting the girls, I caught a glimpse of that little nugget of truth shared by my mom so long ago. And as the girls giggled and squealed and exclaimed, “Oh My Ga, he’s, like, sooooo cute,” I saw Sloan’s face flush and a look of male dominance flash through his eyes. His chest puffed out and he aimed his “gun” (his fingers accompanied by a gun sound that only a little boy can make) at the group once more and shot. And they laughed in such a high pitch tone that my ears began to bleed. And I laughed and shook my head and ushered my little Ladie’s Man along.
“What are you doing?” I asked Sloan who walked along with a satisfied smirk on his face.
“I just like girls,” he said with a shrug. “I like to be with girls. By myself.”
And off he flitted, my little bee, dancing to the beat of a rhythm I wasn’t fully prepared for just yet. He is aware of girls, he is fascinated by girls, he is attracted to girls (obviously in a completely innocent way). And here I sit, his baffled mother, wondering what on Earth we’re going to do with him.
What am I going to do with him? I see the innocence of his actions. He is aware that girls are different from boys and the difference is attracting. He is also still completely grossed out by the site of boys and girls kissing (thank God Almighty) but at the same time I think he is equally fascinated and mortified by the attraction between boys and girls. Oh yeah…he’s only six. Six. I expected this behavior around 10. Not six. Lord help me…
It is interesting, this process of watching your child grow up and mature. It is both terrifying and thrilling all at once. And as this self awareness begins to develop I find myself entirely unprepared to handle the dance of the little bee. We have time, of course. But if there’s one thing I’ve observed since having children it’s that time does not, indeed, slow down. In fact, I’m quite sure it’s speeding up. It won’t be long until I have a tween who is still innocent in the issue of attraction, but whose impulses towards attraction are much stronger. I wonder if I will still find it so baffling and hysterical?
I also have a girl who will one day be one of those silly, giggly, Middle School girls who knows how to flirt and laugh in such a way that little boys lose whatever reason they may have and begin acting in a way that makes your head spin. Maybe Christ could return before that – like…today.