Monday, 25 January 2010

True love never runs smooth

Last weekend we had my son's birthday party.

He's nine. He requested a LaserQuest party, having gone once with the church youth group and had a great time. By having twelve children there they had the place to themselves. Of course, he invited fourteen, expecting some to be unable to come - but they all could! So much for my father's theory that 20% of people can't attend when invited!

I know - all this is pretty routine stuff. What is unusual, for a nine-year-old boy, is that he invited girls. Of his own volition.

And all five of them came!

Girls are, of course, different to boys. Like me, they are all perfectly behaved and quiet and unassuming (ahem!)

They got picked last for the teams (grrrr) but thankfully each team won one game each (phew!) Then, when eating afterwards I can categorically state that not one of the girls started eating the polystyrene tub the food came in; none of them put plastic bands in their mouths to look like toothless aliens; and I'm sure they felt quite justified in throwing back the ketchup covered paper that was hurled their way. [I love boys' parties...]

One asked me, "Are all boys' parties like this?" Felt obliged to be honest.

My son, of course, got teased for inviting girls. He took it well - just slightly pink. He was sat next to one of the girls, J, which didn't help matters. And of course various other boy/girl mixes were touted as being boyfriend/girlfriend, to the amusement of those with the loudest voices and greatest need to be macho...

It is quite a scary thought that I have all this - and more - to come! Aged nine, I can laugh it off, but in only a few years it will be serious. Then hormones will rage through the house. No boy will be good enough for my daughter, and I will worry about my son's choice of girl. I'll have to trust them on dates, enjoy the extended family company and - worst of all - recognise that I will be second in their lives! Oh, the joys of parenthood - the drip, drip, drip of letting go.

So, imagine my delight when an email comes through from J's older sister:
I've found out that J really likes you. Would you go out with her? (If you dont know what that means, just reply!!)

I show it to Son.
"But we're just friends!" he says.
And I smile, because he means it. And he understands that P's sister is winding her up as much as him.
And he smiles.
'Cos it's lovely to be loved. Even a little bit.
And even when you're not. Not really.
It's good to have friends.


Working Mum said...

How lovely! I think it's great that your son invited girls. Although my daughter's only five they've started to segregate for parties which I find really sad, but last weekend she was invited to a boy's party which was football themed and she was the only girl in a proper football kit (yes, it was City, I'm so proud, not!) I hope there will continue to be children who buck the trend and just invite their friends, male and female.

Muddling Along Mummy said...

That is lovely - how wonderful that he actually wanted girls there !!

Hearth-mother said...

My daughter is too young to know there is a difference, and is happy to lead a female or male friend up to her bedroom. I keep telling her to make the most of it because I won't always be this tolerant!

Ineke said...

haha, my 9 yr old would never in a million yrs invite girls so power to your son!
(my 7 yr old daughter however, did invite boys over a couple of weeks ago. And the way she tries to attract the boys friends' attention! I am seriously thinking by the time she is 15, she will be dating her brothers (17 and 18 by then) friend and they hers.

Catharine Withenay said...

WM - I was delighted with the girl quotient too...

MaM - ... and that they wanted to come!

HM - Their innocence is delightful. It is only scary just how quickly the innocence vanishes and it all becomes 'serious'. Either that, or I am getting old...

Ineke - welcome!I too fear the hormonal chaos flying round our house in - oh, crikey! - FIVE years' time. 14 & 12? Quite enough, I fear, for girls to fancy brother's friends and vice-versa. It makes those sleepless nights in the first months of life seem a doddle!

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