Sunday, January 1, 2012

Love and the New Year

Last night, during the throes of a New Year Party, confetti strewn on the floor, groups of friends gathered and chatting, my friend Katy pointed across the room with her head. I looked. There was my 8, almost 9, year old son sitting on the couch with her daughter. Their arms were wrapped around each other comfortably, and they watched the party on TV snuggled in each other's embrace. Awwwww....we all smiled and gazed at their unabashed affection. I told her how he resisted a shower until I told him her daughter was coming. She told me how her daughter changed her clothes when she learned she was going to see Ben. She confessed she was a little concerned though...with this "starting" so soon. I was very present to how different it is for parents of girls than boys. I really wasn't concerned. Later, I did have a moment of telling them to "break it up" but it was of concern for the girl and her parents' concern, not for Ben. I had no radar going off to protect him. Of course I don't want him to get hurt emotionally, but that primal fear for his well being and safety is not there like it is for parents of girls. I shared with her how I asked Ben, when he was 5 what he would do if he had a girlfriend and he said "I would do a puppet show for her, bring her a flower and maybe hold her hand." Awwww...well that's okay then I said.

I checked in with him again tonight and he said that having her as a special friend felt really special. It meant that they would hug sometimes. He might make a picture for her or write to her. He was clear that he asked her not to tell his friends as school that they were boyfriend and girlfriend and she agreed. I celebrated his communication with her and hugged him silly with joy. He loves. I love that he loves and shares his love.

They hugged each other fiercely before she left. After the door closed Ben said dreamily,"Okay, I am going to float to my room now." and walked upstairs. Something leaped in my heart. He was in love. I clapped my hands together gleefully after he left, "My party was a success! Two people fell in love!" My girlfriends giggled with me and we relished the joy of love.

Yes, there will be hurt and sadness in the future, there will be lots of bliss too. I will probably need to remind them to do more playing together and maybe a little less hugging...or not. I get that as they grow I will need to continually check in on what "having a girlfriend means," It will change. Our children benefit from guidance and rules and we will put that in. For now, I am clear that as we kick in the New Year, our family is overflowing with love. We wish you the same.
Thank you dear friends, for being the kind of people that are so easy to love.

Zen Honeycutt

1 comment:

  1. I witnessed it for myself earlier that e ending... I can remember that feeling of a boy who was the son of my parents friends. I wrote thought and dreamt about him for months!!!