Slowly but surely the wheels of time are moving closer to the day in which my son stops pretending that he hates girls and admits that there is something intriguing about them. At the moment most of his comments are of the appropriate sort for an almost ten year-old boy.
He wrinkles his nose and looks upon them disdainfully. At school they don’t play the same games as him and his friends and when they do get involved there is almost always a disagreement. He tells me that he sees them in groups laughing about stupid things, but just what those stupid things are he isn’t really sure. When I ask him for an example he looks at me like I am crazy and tells me that “they’re girls.”
Periodically I’ll find two or three chasing him and his friends. I am not really sure what the game is other than the boys run and the girls chase them. I have told him to be careful because one of them just might decide that they want to catch him.
He doesn’t quite understand what I am saying, but he knows that there is something going on. He tells me that his sister has become quite adept at getting him in trouble. I ask why and he tells me that girls are good at figuring out how to get boys in trouble. I laugh and tell him that he has no idea. He doesn’t understand why I am laughing and tells me that something has happened to my old brain.
It seems that he can’t quite figure it out, why I like girls that is. I ask him how he knows and he tells me that he knows that I have kissed at least one other girl besides his mother. And for a moment, just a moment his curiosity gets the best of him and he asks a question that is sort of related to intercourse, breasts and female curves in general.
I pause and consider how to respond. I am not sure that he really wants to know all this yet. He knows how to be direct, but he was awkward in his phrasing. It is more akin to how he acts when he is embarrassed then uncertain.
It leaves me with the question of how much information will satisfy his curiosity because I don’t want to say one word more. He is approaching the age but certainly not ready for it. And even if he said that he is I am not. Dad won’t ignore the question, but not going to go over it in detail.
I have a good friend whose daughter has already partaken in the festival of the flesh. He walked in on her and her boyfriend and I have seen the scars on his eyeballs. That was enough for me, but I digress.
So I give him a short answer that one day he’ll realize that he appreciates them, girls that is. And that is when he asks me if when that day comes I can teach him. I chuckle for a moment and ask him what he needs to know.
He tells me that he wants to know everything about girls so that if he does decide that he likes them he can be an expert. Now I laugh out loud and tell him that part of the fun of life is figuring out the mystery of people. He glares at me and tells me that he wants a real answer.
I smile at him and say that I don’t have a uniform answer. Girls are a different sort of animal. It is the sort of expression that will get me in trouble with his mother and grandmothers, but I live for trouble so I move on with my explanation.
“Some of them will do things that make no sense to you. You’ll think that it is dumb, but you’ll find yourself doing the dumb thing with them. And maybe you’ll decide that the dumb thing is kind of fun.”
He says ok and tells me that he has another question. “Do they all get fat when they’re having babies?”
I almost fall out of my seat with laughter, but somehow stifle it. “We don’t tell them that they are fat,” I start to say. But before I can finish he shouts “you mean we have to lie to them about the dumb thing and the fat stuff.”
This is not going where I want it to so I remind him that we don’t lie but that doesn’t work for him. I just told him that we don’t call them fat when they are pregnant. So now I find myself dealing with nuances and expressions, or trying to explain them to a 9.5 year old boy.
Without further ado I pull out the trump card and ask him if he wants to learn how to kiss a girl now. He shrieks something about no way and is silent. I nod my head and pull out a Lego set down from a shelf and we start building.
Somehow I survived, but I think that I need to think about how to approach this when it comes up again because it will be back.