My eight-year-old son had a significant phone call today. From a girl. A real, live, honest-to-goodness, second-grade girl.
I answered the phone and heard a little giggle. "Is Stephen there?"
I called for him down the hallway; as he approached, I instantly flashed-back to taunting my brother by making smoochy noises and whispering, "it’s a girrrrrl!" But I remembered, thankfully, that now I’m the mom, and I handed him the phone gently, with nary a single smooch.
"Hey," he said into the phone. AS IF HE HAD BEEN EXPECTING THIS CALL. And then he sauntered down the hall toward his room for…for…what, privacy?
I stood there at the top of the stairs, frozen in a moment of indecision. I could swear I heard the Jeopardy theme song tick-tocking over my shoulder. Part of me wanted to dash downstairs and listen on the other extension. Another part of me thought that it would be more subtle just to stand outside his door and listen.
And yet another part of showed up and gave the first two parts of me a firm kick in the pants, reminding my nosy self that there’s nothing wrong with a little privacy.
I set about my business distractedly, until Stephen emerged from his room a few minutes later. He came to the kitchen to hang up the phone. "So," I said just as disinterestedly as I could. "What did she want?"
Clearly he was trying to act coolly disinterested as well. "Eh, nothing. She was just bored." And he trotted back to his room, his chest a little puffier, The Kind Of Boy That Girls Call Sometimes For No Reason.
I have seen this day coming since he first looked up at me with those deep brown eyes and long eyelashes. He’s going to break many hearts, and the first one may very well be mine.