The look on my oldest daughter’s face is priceless. Her face is flushed a bright pink, and she appears extremely anxious. I remind her that I first must follow the directions of the camp counselors and sign her and her sister “out,” before I can go make new acquaintances.
As soon as the camp counselor is done checking my identification, my daughter grabs my hand and starts dragging me across the parks and recreation building. She finally stops when we reach the far wall. Sitting down, cap on his head, sitting with his legs crossed, is a young boy.
“Dad, this is (insert random guy name here).”
*Searching my mental database for recent conversations I’ve had with her about “(insert random guy name here)”*
Oh. THAT guy.
“Hey (insert random guy name here). How are you? I’m Jeremy.”
(insert random guy name here) looks frustrated, tired, or sad. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but something looked wrong.
“Hi,” he mumbled his reply. That answer sounded exactly like something I would say when I was younger. In fact, sometimes I have to remind myself even now to stop mumbling.
My daughter has a big, cheesy grin on her face. She says “(insert random guy name here) is having a bad day. Everyone is being mean to him.”
“Oh,” I mumble.
“(insert random guy name here)? You OK?” I ask. “Yeah” he replied. “Good. Keep your chin up.”
We finally make eye contact. I smile. His solemn face goes back towards the floor. After my daughter and I finsish making our usual rounds of saying “goodbye” to her friends, I usher her to the other side of the gym to get her sister.
As we pile into the car I ask my daughter what was wrong with (insert random guy name here) again. “Oh, just people teasing him and stuff. I wasn’t. I really like him, he’s nice.”
I shoot my eyes in her direction, eyebrows furrowed. “Like him? Like what?”
Smiling, she says “He’s nice. And he’s cute, too.”
Sigh…Like I said before—Oh. THAT guy. (insert random guy name here) has definitely been a topic of major discussion in our household the last couple weeks.
“Does your mother know about this crush of yours yet?”
“Yes,” she giggled. “She said it’s OK to like boys at my age, but I’m not allowed to date them yet.”
“Really? When does she say it’s OK to start dating them?”
*Side note* My ex-wife and I, actually see eye to eye on MOST aspects of raising these kids of ours.*
“She said there’s not really a certain age—I’ll just have to be mature enough. Besides, I just like him as a friend.”
In my mind I start singing “Just a Friend,” by Bizmarkie…I think I know exactly how this story ends.
****By the way***
My daughter is almost twelve. She recently has started reading my blog. Although she enjoys it, she would like a little bit of privacy. As her parent, I can respect that. As per her request, I will try my best to refrain from using “real” names. Hence the (insert random guy name here). 🙂