Thursday, January 5, 2012

Kids These Days

I have a friend who has two boys.  They are good-looking boys, and well-behaved, and polite and well-liked and all that garbage that is important to people.

One of her boys has a friend who is a girl.  Not a girlfriend.  A Girl Friend.

They have been inseparable for years, having been in the same class all through school, even living in the same neighborhood.

Did I mention that this boy and girl are 11?

They are 11.

I also have an 11*-year-old boy.

So my friend with the boys and I have talked about what happens when our 11-year-old boys become 12, and then teenagers, and what this means in terms of them interacting with 11-year-old girls who become 12, and then teenagers.

You know where I’m going here.

When moms talk about their kids interacting with kids of the opposite sex, there is this understanding, this knowing that things are about to change in the lives of our children, this knowing that we will need to put on our big-girl pants and steel ourselves for the inevitability that our children will be hormone-filled raging lunatics just like we were at that age, if we are being truthful about our own wonder years.

We talk about how we will be extra vigilant during the teen years, spying and texting and keeping tabs on our boys and their Girl Friends.  We pledge to be super-annoying and super-involved moms.

We also talk about the Girl Friends.

I am confused about how kids pair up so young.  My friend tells me, when I ask about how these young couplings form, that the girls make the first move, the girls chase the boys, the girls are more aggressive at making claims on the desired boy.  Things are very different now than they were back in the olden days, when we girls sat by the phone in our bobby socks and waited for the boys to call.

Of course I was skeptical, because my 11-year-old boy does not have a Girl Friend, but also because I have a girl – my 11-year-old boy’s little sister – an innocent, breath-of-life girl whose interests are as pure as snow.

Whose favorite singers include twin strumpets Ke$ha and Rihanna, and whose latest creations included scenarios featuring a naked Barbie and Justin Bieber doll sandwich, and who is always sneaking lip gloss.

And who, just the other night, whispered “I love you” to my 11-year-old boy’s 11-year-old buddy as she passed him a Pepsi, and point-blank asked him to marry her.

Oh, boy.


*Not quite 11.  It’ll happen.


  1. Growing up I had mostly all boy friends. They were even allowed to stay the night. However, once we hit around age 12ish that had to stop. We all still remained friends but we knew something had obviously changed. I'm still good friends with a hand full of the guys. I never ended up dating any of them. I had no interest...they were just my friends.

  2. It is so sad, the day we have to draw boundary lines between opposite sex friendships. Nothing is the same, even if we remain friends.

    Now, I just need to figure out how to dial back this "love of my life" mentality at grade school age!