“Mommy!” cried Robbie, running in the house looking for his mother.
“Robbie, what’s wrong?” replied his mother.
“Jenny doesn’t love me, and I love her and I want her to be my girlfriend, but she doesn’t want to and that makes me sad” said Robbie in a very dramatic way.
Michelle looked at her young son and smiled. He was her sweet, little brown-haired, brown-eyed boy, so anxious to be a big boy. His eyes were wide and filled with tears as if both shocked and pained by the idea that little 5 year old Jenny wouldn’t want him to be her boyfriend.
“Why don’t you tell Mommy what happened” said Michelle in a very somber way, knowing that teasing him would only make things worse.
“We were playing catch and we were having fun, but then Jacob came over and said he wanted to play, but I said he couldn’t cause it was our game and he said he could if he wanted to and Jenny said he could too, but I didn’t want him to, cause I love Jenny, so I told her that I loved her and that she was my girlfriend, but she said she didn’t want to be and kept playing with Jacob, so I came home!” said Robbie finally taking a breath.
“Hmm, Robbie do you know what a girlfriend is?” asked Michelle.
“A girlfriend is someone you play with, and talk to, and hold hands with and you love her lots,” said Robbie.
Michelle smiled again, thinking of innocence and pureness of young love. At this tender age he could never understand that love can be so much more complicated than that. Nor would he believe that in another year or two he’d probably believe more along the lines of ‘girls are icky and have cooties’. "Oh, how to navigate these waters", she thought before responding.
“Robbie, maybe you should try showing her that you love her instead of just telling her”, said Michelle.
“Like how, Mommy.”
“Well, you could push her on the swing, or give her a gift”, said Michelle.
“Like a snake or a bug?” Robbie asked with excitement starting to show on his face.
Michelle laughed. “Mmm, no not anything like that. Remember, she’s a girl, so you want to give her a gift that a girl would like.”
“Like what? Girls don’t like cool things”, said Robbie, wrinkling his nose at the thought.
“Well, like a flower, or candy, for starters. Or you could draw her a picture or share a snack with her, or …” Michelle started.
“Oh, I know what to give her”, said Robbie as he started running out the door.
"This I’ve got to see", thought Michelle, smiling and watching from the kitchen window. Robbie stopped by Mrs. Brown’s rosebush and picked a pretty pink rose. “Oh, no!” Michelle groaned, realizing that there would now have to be a conversation about stealing. Melissa laughed at that and thought, "I didn’t think that one through, did I?"
She continued watching as Robbie approached Jenny and handed her the flower, saying something as he did. Jenny took it and smiled, and then Robbie took her hand and led her to the swings.
Later when Robbie came in to get ready for dinner, Michelle asked him how it went. “Oh, Mommy you were right,” said Robbie. “When I showed her how much I loved her she said she loved me too and would be my girlfriend! I did like you said, I gave her a flower and pushed her on the swing.”
“Umm, yeah about the flower. Robbie we need to talk” said Michelle preparing to give another life lesson. "Oh, the joys of parenthood", she thought smiling as she sat him down.
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