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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6 thoughts on “Young Love: The Dichotomy Between Kindergarten and Middle School”

  1. Oh Paula – Why must you remind me that my darling kindergartner and preschooler will someday (all too soon!) be in middle school?! I am terrified at the prospect and keep telling hubs we must figure out how we can move to another country by the time the kids are tweens. But I’m not sure where that country of “innocence” would be. If you do, let me know!
    Colleen at Travel Mamas´s last blog post ..Sun- Sand &amp Sea in Sardinia

  2. Yes, this roller coaster is hard. Last week a friend of mine was saying she wished the 7th grade boys would quit calling her 6th grade twin daughters. (And no, it’s not your #1 calling said daughters; I checked.) Here’s what half of my brain was saying: “Whew! Glad they aren’t calling my 7th grade daughter!!!!!” Other half: “Why aren’t the boys calling MY daughter???!!??”
    Okay, not that I want to get to that point. Ever. And I’m so glad mine isn’t boy crazy AT ALL. But, there’s always the part of you who also wants your kid to feel like they “fit in” so they don’t get low self esteem and think they’re a big nerd! I was the girl who was the “nerd” among very popular friends. The boys liked all of them and I was always just “the friend.” Devastating at the time! So I think we want our children to find the happy medium between “growing up too soon” and “I am a big nerd; I’m not attractive to anyone.” But if we could just make those decisions for them, we’d worry about it a lot less!
    P.S. I love the story about #3! I am kind of a good draw-er, maybe that’s why he likes me so much…

  3. Isn’t it fun raising children today…lol! I feel your pain…my 7th grade son is begging me to let him have picture mail on his phone. This was part of our conversation yesterday…him, “mom, come on, what do you think I’m going to do? Really? I just want to download ringtones!!!” Me, “I know what middle schoolers do with picture mail, so we’ll, um, think about it, ok!?”

    Oh yeah, I have a high school son as well and it does not get easier, they just get sneakier…:)

    But I do have a third grade daughter that is still innocent…thank god I have a few more years before all of that starts with her…yikes!!

    Good luck!!

  4. @Becky, thanks for the comment! Yeah, picture mail? Not necessarily a good thing. Neither is downloading ringtones when your son “unknowingly” signs up for a “ringtone club” that costs $20/month!

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