Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Girl Trouble

The Boy is having girl trouble.

The crux of the problem is that all of his friends are girls. He says, "Mom, the girls in my class are all so sweet. Why aren't the boys sweet?"

He's small. He's not an athlete. When the boys (or even the girls) start running around and playing, he just can't keep up. So he has other interests: art, science, and the occasional talk about dynamite and other explosives.

Last year, his best friend was a girl. She's great, and her sister is my daughter's best friend. All very neat and tidy at playdates for the four of them. But that girl wasn't always so interested in looking for bugs. Oh, she'd last a while, but then, eventually, she would ditch the Boy and go look for her sister and my Girl--to do some girl stuff.

This year, his best friend is a girl, but it's a different girl. A girl who can look for bugs for as long as he can (which is forever). She is sweet and has a huge smile and missing teeth. And she loves my Boy and draws him pictures when he is sick.

He still likes the first girl. She is still his friend. But she's jealous of the new girl, and the new girl is jealous of the first girl.

So they question him about who he will marry, and the first girl tells him he should marry who he loved first. But he says that he wants to marry the new girl because they love each other and have so much in common.

Despite all this love, he has expressed anxiety and dismay over this predicament. He doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. But it's a problem. The girls, of course, have other friends, who are girls, from whom they do not expect such declarations loyalty and favoritism. But since his friends are girls, and he's a boy, he's supposed to pick just one.

I, of course, tell him that he does not need to decide who to marry yet--that he's got some time. I tell him to try to be inclusive--that they can all play together. But I realize that he is in a pickle. And I'm not even sure how to suggest that he navigate the triangle (which will, I'm sure, eventually become a quadrangle or pentagon or . . . well, you get the picture).

Fortunately, we have chances for him to spend time with both girls outside of school, which he enjoys, but, at school, it's tough for all of them. They are all great kids, and they are all struggling with how to deal with these very real feelings of friendship, insecurity, and anxiety.

And with all that going on, he's supposed to learn how to read?


Jana@Attitude Adjustment said...

What a great post. Your poor son. (Girls are crazy. I know because I am one.) One good thing is that since his close friends are girls, it's probable that he's a sensitive boy who will make a woman happy one day. My husband tells a story of his first let-down in elementary school, the day his teachers told him he couldn't play with the girls. He's always gotten along well with girls, especially considering his first best friend was his sister. So it's nice to know that things have changed, right?

(BTW, I have you on my google reader! Gotta love Google, even though it's taking over the world.)

TKW said...

Oh, the heartbreak. Miss D. cried bitterly this summer because the boy across the street announced that he'd decided to marry someone else.

Girls are a pain in the ass!

medieval woman said...

a truly adorable story - I'm sorry he's experiencing such angst so young. Just between us, I think he'll marry the new girl in about 20 years - I mean, looking for bugs all day?! She's a gem.

Ink said...

"And with all that going on, he's supposed to learn how to read?" Exactly!

The social stuff is always so much more intense than the academic. Poor kiddos!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Oh my heart aches for the Boy. And the girls. Social situations are only going to get more complicated as they get older and it just makes you wish so hard that you could make those less rough for all parties involved.

I'm with MW on the coolness of the girl who will hunt bugs all day, though. Wow!

Aspiring Minimalist said...

Awwww. This is such a sweet story. Girls are trouble, it's good he's learning this early on :)

Good Enough Woman said...

Jana, Yes, I think it's more acceptable for boys to play with girls. Or perhaps I just assume it's okay now since that's what my son does. (And thanks for stopping by!)

TKW, I'm a little afraid of what will happen when my Girl goes to kindergarten next year.

MW, You might be right! I doubt I'll ever approve of anyone more that I approve of her.

CT, so true. I think the angst is quite real, so I try not to be dismissive while also not making it too big of a deal. I feel for all of the kids!

AM, Are we really trouble? Is it good to learn these lessons early? Will he not perish under the weight of it all? Sigh. (Thanks for stopping by! I'm heading over to your place now to check out your blog.)