Dating ….. According to an 11 Year Old

Aidan has a girlfriend. This is not the first time he has been in a relationship ….. last year there was Cayden who conveniently lived at the top of our street. (He was also quite the lady killer in preschool.) We went out and bought Cayden Valentine’s gifts, Christmas gifts, and souvenirs from our vacations. Rumor has it they kissed, this according to his younger brother, but I’m told it didn’t involve tongues. Yes, this is what it’s like to be 11 and dating.

Cayden still tries to facetime Aidan several times a day. Apparently she isn’t taking the months old break-up well, and I’m sure this new girlfriend is going to send dear sweet Cayden over the edge. (It already seems like her text messages and calls have increased.) The new girlfriend is named Morgan, and she lives about 6 houses away from Cayden, and 4 houses away from Aidan. (Apparently keeping your exes/currents close is a popular thing to do in Killingworth ….. please refer to my previous blog post for a similar scenario.) When Aidan told me he was going to ask Morgan out he was sitting next to me in the car, glasses taped with pink duct tape on both sides, and I told him to wait until his new glasses came in. When I saw him next, new glasses on, I asked if he asked her out and he said he did and that she had said yes.

Me: How did you do it?

Aidan: I just asked.

Me: Ok, did you kiss her yet?

Aidan: Mom!

Me: You know, kissing before you’re 16 stunts your growth.

Aidan: (devilish grin and eyes) No it doesn’t.

Me: Look at me.

Aidan: Good point.

I actually didn’t have my first kiss until I was 15 …. and a half. I guess that makes me a late bloomer. (I had glasses and wore a back brace for my scoliosis in middle school …. that made the awkward stage even more unbearable.) I remember being popular in kindergarten because we used to play Dukes of Hazzard and I was the only girl who ever got to be Daisy. I remember play dates with a kid named Ari and I had a crush on a little blonde boy with glasses and a funny thumb. (I don’t remember his name.) In third grade things got a little more serious and I think we could safely say my first boyfriend was Garret Nash. His mother worked at Sassoon’s Boutique and so I was bestowed with lots of clear plastic jewelry boxes, decorative plaques, and pencils all decked out with my name on them. (Back then it was JACKIE.) He moved somewhere down south in the middle of the year and I was devastated. In sixth grade I went on a double date, Melissa Simone and Robby Panagrossi and me and Michael Epstein. I made it very clear to Mr. Epstein we were not on a date, just there for moral support. We had pizza at DiMatteo’s and then went bowling. A few weeks later Michael wouldn’t tell anyone who he liked, and the girls wouldn’t leave him alone about it, so he said he would only tell me and proceeded to tell me it was me. I whacked him with my bright orange lunch bag, which I think still had one of those hard ice thingies in it. I never dated Mr. Epstein, but I did date his best friend in high school, and he walked off with something very special of mine. (There mom, I said it……sort-of.)

Being 11 now seems so much more complicated than it was for me. We obviously all had the same thoughts about crushes, but the execution was so different. Kids now cannot escape grown-up content and I think it is up to us as parents to make sure they’re handling it the best they can. My rule is his phone is my phone and subject to search and seizure at any moment. I monitor the texts, I look at the pictures, and should I ever find anything disturbing there would be swift action. For the most part this is how his conversations go:

Aidan: Hey

Random friend: Yo.

Aidan: Whatcha doing?

Random friend: I just pooped.

Fortunately, the same conversation would be had with the girlfriends, so for now I’m pretty sure it’s nothing but kissing without tongues and gifts at the holidays.

The little boy with the funny thumb was Jamie.

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