Young love is fickle. So is the willingness to discuss it with parents.
Our six-year-old has swapped out the girl he liked for a new love interest regularly since the dawn of kindergarten. He’s a young man on the move, and a girl has to stay on her toes to keep his interest for long. Also, she has to not make it obvious that she likes a bunch of other boys better. That’s a deal breaker. He’s very particular about having a “girlfriend” that likes him back. He has to be, at the very least, the boy she likes second best.
Way back in those callow days of kindergarten, the boy was shy about naming the girl he liked. He must have thought he had one of those mean dads who would tease him about liking girls and warn him that school was a place for learning, not for smooching. Of course, I’m not like that. I would never do that for very long. It stops being fun after a while.
After some time, he shook off his shyness with talking about girls he liked. Once he discovered that he had a nice dad who wouldn’t tease him very much, it got kind of cool to have somebody with whom to talk about girls – somebody who’s already married and out of elementary school and everything.
Now, the pendulum seems to have swung back the other way again. But now his reticence is not rooted in embarrassment; it’s about his right, as a mature young man, to withhold information from his parents.
It’s been a while since he’s talked about liking any particular girl, but the other day the topic of girls came up in conversation. My wife and I quizzed him about all the girls he used to like. None of them were on top of the list anymore.
Was there a particular girl that he liked now?
“I’m not gonna tell you,” was his reply.
“Why not?” asked his mother.
“Because that’s my Policy Privacy.”
“Nope. It’s my Policy Privacy.”
“What’s that mean?” my wife asked him.
“That means I don’t have to talk about it.”
Fair enough. You have the right to clam up about it. But that doesn’t mean we can’t throw girls’ names at you until one of them makes you grin. We have our methods. And you may have Policy Privacy, but you sure as hell don’t have a poker face.