Young Love: The Dichotomy Between Kindergarten and Middle School

Having a 7th grader on one end of the spectrum and a kindergartner on the other provides for some interesting insights.

Take love, for example.

On one hand, I have an almost-teenager who has to log on to Facebook numerous times a day just to keep up with his ever-changing “relationship status.” (I try to keep a straight face.) This wouldn’t make me quite so leery if it weren’t for the “dating” habits of today’s youth.

A few weeks ago a woman “in the know” blew my happy-to-be-naive-thank-you mind when she initiated a frank conversation with Boy #1 and me. The topic? Sexting, and girls sending inappropriate pictures of themselves to boys they like. She said it’s happening right now IN HIS SCHOOL. These are SIXTH and SEVENTH graders, people.

Sorry, I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Oh, and she also mentioned that boys in our city have been charged with trafficking of a minor for forwarding said photos to their friends.

What happened to class rings and letter jackets?! Sock hops, anyone? Those could become cool again, right? Right?!

I’m so not ready for this.

So while one day I’m reading Boy #1’s sent text messages for evidence of “foul play,” the next day I’m having conversations like this one with Boy #3.

Boy #3: Mom, I have a girlfriend.

Me: You do?

Boy #3: Yeah, but she doesn’t know I’m her girlfriend.

Me: (Holding in my giggles) That’s okay. She doesn’t need to know.

Me again: So why do you like her?

Me once again: (Because I am apparently the shallowest person alive) Is she cute?

Boy #3: (Looking at me like has no idea what I’m smokin’) No.

Me: (Trying to recover from being the shallowest person alive) Why do you like her then?

Boy #3: Because — I like the way she draws.

And right then a 6-year-old put me in my place, without even trying to.

Now, if I could just magically transform the middle school dating scene to be so innocent. But I’m pretty sure that would require hormone manipulation, and I didn’t take that class in college. I don’t think “British Literature and Art in the 1890s” is gonna be much help here, either.

I can only hope and pray that this philosophy on love comes full circle and someday when Boy #1 is thinking about who he wants to spend the rest of his life with, he remembers his little brother’s standards.

And that Boy #3 remembers his own standards when HE is 12-going-on-35.

Yeah, right…

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