Declan is home with me this week for Spring Break. Which means lots of trying to work while trying to entertain my very precocious 9 year old. But the thing I like best about the times he is home with me, other than forcing manual labor on him, is when we just get to sit and just talk. Like when we had lunch on a patio yesterday, soaking up the amazing weather in Denver right now.
“Lots of kids in my grade took dates to the dance last week.”
Wow, really? I asked him if that was encouraged, because as I have mentioned in the past, I am not big on forced dating at this age because it is “cute” or “fun” or anything other than lunacy.
“No, no. Kids just started doing it.”
OK. More calm.
“Did you go with anyone?”
Instant pink face. He had not, but there *was* someone he wanted to go with, oddly enough a girl who declared – when they were 4 years old – that they would be marry someday. I asked who else went with “dates” and he listed off friend after friend, and I was kind of shocked how widespread it was.
Then Declan told me, in his most matter of fact voice – they he prefers to fly solo. He leaned back in his chair non-nonchalantly as he said this, and kind of squinted into the sun. I wondered if he had been watching some Paul Newman movies on Netflix without our knowledge.
“Well, I guess I sort of had a date the last time. [Friend who is a boy] and I went together. And he licked my hand too.”
Besides squirming at all the germs that must have passed between them, I was interested how Declan considered this a date.
“Well, I guess it wasn’t a date, since we are two guys.”
I went on to explain that two guys can date, it is perfectly normal… and if – when he ACTUALLY starts dating – he likes to go out with men, his dad and I will always love and support him.
“Oh, Mom. I know.”
He’s nowhere near figuring any of that stuff out right now.
I only took two things from the conversation seriously.
The fact that he was willing to share these things with me…
And that he knows I will love him no matter what.