“I can’t wait till I’m a grown up,” Spense says on a pretty regular basis.
I know he doesn’t mean to say I can’t wait to get away from you, Mom.… but that’s what it feels like. I’ve spent years planning for this guy to be in my life, I devote my waking hours to him and yet….
“I can’t wait to be a man,” Spense said today. Again.
“Why?” I asked, trying not to take it personally again.
“So I can have a girlfriend,” he whispers, excitedly.
Oh, okay, so you want to get away from me so some other woman can tell you what to do. How can I not take that personally?
“What will you do with a girlfriend that you think will be fun? I ask.
“Kiss!” he whispers, shyly.
I wonder what makes some 4 year old boys dream of having a girlfriend, rather than dream of whatever else kids think about. Seriously though, this must be because I’m a single mom, right? This has to be why he’s fixated on having a girlfriend, right?!?!
“But….” I know I should just leave it alone, but I can’t… “I kiss you!”
“No!” he says, “A girlfriend will kiss better.”
And then I leave it alone.
When I tell people that he dreams of having a girlfriend, they think it’s adorable. But, it seems so strange to me – like that his unconventional family is pushing him into this unnaturally advanced direction – towards the normalcy he will choose as a grownup. OR, maybe this is normal. After all, lots of girls in his preschool play bride and have pretend weddings. Maybe he’s so secure with me that he wants to continue having relationships.
There’s the double standard; if I had a daughter, would this be less upsetting? Girls are expected to play bride; a game that I never played, actually. As you can imagine, I’m not a fan. When I see children playing marriage or wedding, I cringe. To me, it feels so gross. But I try to relax and remind myself – this is the world we live in. I am the one with the different opinion. Kind of like how my boy has a different view than I…. kid of like how he came out of the womb loving swords and sticks and weapons.
I’m working on nodding and smiling, when Spense talks about how he can’t wait to grow up and get married and leave me for another woman. I’m reminding myself that children always talk about what they will do when they grow up and just because he’s focused on a relationship instead of a career, doesn’t mean I’m a horrible mom. 😉
I wonder if this will last – will he be the boy trying to date early? Will he ever go through the phase where he thinks kissing is gross?
Is this just who he is and will be? Or will he change? It’s quite incredible.
If he lived in a conventional home would he be so fixated?
Whatever it is, it’s fascinating.
Nature vs Nurture. Amazing.