(names have been condensed to initials to protect the innocent.....or at least, the minors, in this story)
Today, I placed myself in a small cage with a large number of wild, rabid monkeys..........and by this I mean, I went to my 5 year old son's elementary school, and had lunch with him in the cafeteria. You get the idea.
So, when a parent comes to eat lunch with their child in the jungle (ie. cafeteria), there is a special table dedicated just for them and their child, right smack dab in the middle of the room. The child is allowed to pick one friend from his/her class to join them at the table.
My 24 month old daughter and I wait outside the cafeteria for my son's classroom to arrive - she is coincidentally wearing her Monkey 'leash'. This induces mass hysterics by everyone who passes us.
We see my son arrive, and all exchange greetings as we enter the doors to the cafeteria. I recognize most of his classmates, and they all love to dote on my daughter.
One of the little girls in C's class (we'll call her 'O') says in THE sweetest, most heart-melting voice...
"C, can I sit with you?"
My testosterone-filled-soon-to-be-typical-male son says back:
"No. I want S to sit with me".
I wanted to grab this little girl in my arms and give her a hug. And then I actually wanted to fight my own child. I immediately re-live every time my heart was broken by a boy, every time I felt rejection. In my, clearly demented mind, I turn into Sally Field in "Norma Rae", jump on one of the tables, and give all those hooligan boys a lecture on how to treat girls!!
However, difficult as it was, I refrained. My son chose his friend, S, to sit with us.......and then completely ignored me for the next 30 minutes. But, I digress.........
Five minutes into the meal, a group of 4 girls (I'm guessing 3rd graders) walk over to our table and say to my son:
"hhiiiii, C".......... and walk away. Giggling.
Me: "who are they??"
C: "oh, just some girls that like me"
Me: "kid, you're 5!! how old are they??"
C: "I don't know"
All of a sudden, he's Justin Bieber??
My sweet little first-born baby boy, who just lost his first tooth, is going to turn into a pre-pubescent boy with raging hormones before I know it!!!! I'm not stable enough for this. I guess I just never imagined him becoming an actual human being. Capable of feelings. Capable of hurting others feelings.
Once again, my mind is back on sweet O, and the sting of rejection.........and, YES, I'm seeing all of this through a 5 year old's eyes. I know. I'm crazy.
After our meal concluded, I said to my son:
"I'm coming back tomorrow, and we're asking O to sit with us".
I might even bring her a cookie. Or a present.