I sat and listened as she told me that she doesn’t want to break his heart. She thinks that he is a nice boy and that it is unfair that this kind of thing has to happen.
I nodded my head and took her hand in mine. She looked up at me and asked it ever gets easier and I sighed…deeply. It is unfair but no one ever promised that life would always be fair so sometimes you just have to suck it up and move on.
Move on is exactly what I wanted to do but I couldn’t. I couldn’t because she wanted an answer and I didn’t want to give her the wrong one. So I looked her in the eye and told her to listen very carefully.
“Seven year-old girls do not have boy friends. You have friends who are boys.”
She glared at me and said that I was wrong. I shook my head and told her that I wouldn’t relent. “Daddy, he asked me to be his girlfriend.”
I told her that I didn’t care. “You are too young to date. You are supposed to be having fun now. Besides, didn’t you tell me that Jimmy asked Cathy to be his girlfriend too?”
She nodded her head and told me that Jimmy has asked almost every girl in their class to be his girlfriend. “One day you aren’t going to want to share your boyfriends with your friends.”
“Daddy, friends are supposed to share.”
“Not like that they aren’t. You can start dating when you are 117.”
She giggled and told me that I told her that she could have a baby when she is 49 and has finished medical school. “Daddy, if I can have a baby at 49 then I should be able to have a boyfriend then too.”
“Ok, you can have a boyfriend when you are 49.”
Thirty seconds later she wrapped her arms around my neck and kissed me on both sides of my face. As she ran off to play I knew that she was thinking that she has me wrapped around her finger. Well, let her think that all she wants because when it comes to boys and her it simply isn’t true.
For those of you who are wondering I know that there is nothing hinky going on and that they are just playing. If you ask my daughter what it means to have a boyfriend she can’t give you an answer that extends beyond you spend time with them and sometimes you kiss them on the lips. I can live with that. She has already told me that she thinks kissing a boy now would be gross.
As my Israeli friends have said many times, “Ani lo frier.” I am not a sucker and I am not stupid. The day will come when she will want to kiss boys and then some. I am in no rush to make or see that happen.
But that doesn’t mean that I am not building a foundation for her. She is going to grow up knowing that her happiness is contingent upon herself. Her sense of self worth and self esteem isn’t based on what boys think of her.
In many ways that discussion felt surreal and I have this feeling that when she really is old enough I am going to look at her and remember this moment. That might not be so good for the boys. If all goes according to plan when I meet them it will be in my study. I’ll show them a picture of the desert and casually mention that I own that piece of property, a gun and a shovel.
And then that girl of mine will kill me. Not literally of course but I probably shouldn’t do the old desert, shovel and gun bit with them.Â Sigh, these kids of ours grow up far too quickly.