The other night, as I was leading song time for the Sparks in our AWANA club at church, I couldn’t help but notice two little blondies in the front row. They were sitting close to each other, giggling a lot, blonde heads put together, whispering behind hands into intent ears.
I did what I normally do with kids who aren’t usually the “trouble-making” sort. I made eye contact. Stood uncomfortably close. Reminded the group as a whole to be quiet while looking straight at the two towheads in the front row. My normal techniques, however, barely seemed to make an impression.
Song time ended, and we moved into games, and I watched the two of them as they stood on the yellow line, side-by-side, he just a little taller than she. They cheered each other on, and laughed uncontrollably, and told each other secrets.
And I knew.
Bubs has his very first crush.
Last night at dinner I asked him about it. I don’t want to be obnoxious and nosy, but I do want him to know that these things are okay to talk about too. It’s a fine line to walk.
“So, Bubba,” I said casually over my baked potato, “I noticed that you and S. seem to be really good friends now.”
“Yeah . . .” He shrugged. “She’s nice.”
“Do you have a crush on her?”
He turned a little red but said he didn’t know what that meant.
“It’s when you like someone a little more than you like your regular friends. And when you see her, your insides get all squeezy.”
The blush said it all.
“You’re blushing!” Stinky pointed out helpfully. As if we needed help noticing the beacon of red fire coming from poor Bubba’s face.
“It’s okay,” I assured him. “It’s normal to have crushes on girls. Do you feel the same way about any other girls?” (He has about eight million little girl friends, so I thought I’d better ask).
“Not really,” he said, fading to a light shade of fuchsia.
“Oh. Well, she seems like a very nice girl.”
“It doesn’t matter. She’s going to move up soon.”
“That’s true,” I said (mostly to Art). “She’s in second grade so she won’t be a Spark next year.”
(At this point I thought I heard Art mumble something about “older women” and “right on,” but if so I’m sure I was imagining it.)
By this point Stinky and Bubs were feeling very silly, overcome by all the mushy gushy love talk.
“Well, Bubba,” I said, “I just want you to know that it’s okay to have a crush on a girl, but you’re too young to be boyfriend and girlfriend, okay?”
“I know,” he assured me, face still a bit rosy.
And we all went back to our potatoes, giggly (the boys) and a little weepy (their parents) and screechy (Little One).
In related news, twelve years ago today I fell in love with the best man in the universe. He is so amazing. I am so blessed.
And now, I think I shall go drown my sorrows in chocolate.
My baby is growing up. Hold Me.