Funny thing, but every year with spring, not only flowers, but also romance blooms. We see the squirrels chasing each other around the yard. The male birds give up their perches on the birdfeeder to the females, and the little girls chase the little boys around the school playground.
A reader called to bring me up to date on romance in the primary grades. She has two sons, one 8 the other 6.
Just a few weeks ago she found a note addressed to the 8-year-old which proclaimed, “I love you.” The word love was represented by a heart. She asked him, “What’s this?” He just grinned and shrugged his shoulders.
Shortly thereafter her son asked if they could stop by the house they lived in last summer. When she asked why, he said he wanted to cut a rose off the bush. To the next “why” he replied he wanted to give a flower to the little girl who sent him the note.
She explained to him that there were no roses on the bush in the early spring. He accepted her explanation. Then he showed her a pink pillow his girlfriend had made in Girl Scouts and had given to him. A little bit later she found a note in his bedroom. It said, “Will you maree me”, and it was signed by the same girl.
When she asked him about the note, he again shrugged his shoulders. Mom asked, “Well, do you like her?” Another shrug. “You know your best buddy really doesn’t like her.”
“Yeah, I know.” Finally he showed her a ring his true love had given him. It was right out of a bubble gum machine.
Mom asked, “Are you going to wear it?” He nodded his head yes. She asked, “On which finger?” Then she explained the significance of the right and left ring finger. He put it on the left one. She was surprised and asked, “Are you going to wear that to school where your best buddy will see it?”
“Heck no,” he laughed. But later he asked Mom to take him to the store so he could buy the girl a ring. He had his own money, so she took him to the store, and he picked out an inexpensive four-pack of rings.
“Are you going to give her all of these?” Mom asked.
“No,” he answered, just the one with the dolphins. She likes dolphins.”
“What are you going to do with the others?” she asked. He didn’t answer so she suggested, “Maybe you could give them to your other girlfriends.”
“Yeah,” he agreed, that’s cool.”
Is this the beginning of something big? I suspect the 8-year-old doesn’t even know the answer, and neither does his mother. Guess we‘ll find out in 15 years or so..
The 6-year-old is a whole other story. His mom found a slightly broken adjustable ring in his room. When she asked him where he got it, he said a girl in his kindergarten class gave it to him.
When she asked if he liked the little girl he said, “Not really.”
She asked, “Why did you take the ring? Are you going to wear it?”
“Nope,” he quickly answered. “I took it so I could give it to you!”
Well, I guess that’s the major difference between 6-year-old and 8-year-old boys. The 8-year-old is beginning to branch out in the romance department, but Mom is still the best girlfriend of the 6-year-old.
I remember 30 years ago when our 8-year-old showed his affection for a 7-year-old neighbor girl by throwing rocks at her. When his brother asked him if he liked her, he said, “Sure, her dad is giving away a new bicycle at his store.”
Sounds like romance has changed over the years at the primary level.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This column was first published in the Daily Advocate on April 9, 2003.
Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her column Back Around the House II. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.