Last night Coen got into the bath and I sat down on the stool next to the tub.
Coen: Can you tell me stories tonight, Mommy?
Me: Sure. What kind of stories?
Coen: You choose. About you. When you were young.
Me: Hmm.. What age should I tell you a story about?
Coen: What age was hard for you?
Me: Oh, twelve.
So I explained about how at twelve your body goes through all kinds of changes. And Coen wanted to know what kind so I explained that. And I told him about changes for boys and girls. And then the hormones. And the mood changes. And crushes. Coen's face broke into a smile when I said that.
Coen: Mom. I already have a crush.
Me: You do?!
Me: Would you tell me who?
Coen: Sure (and he proceeded to tell me who but I must protect his privacy so I shan't reveal.)
Me: So, Coen. What does it mean to have a crush?
Coen: Well, I like her. And I try to be near her all day. (he grins and I think oh my gosh, he really does have a crush)
We talk about crushes and how other kids like to talk about who has a crush on whom. Coen asks me what to do if someone points out his crush in front of the whole classroom and everyone laughs and points. I tell him he could play it cool. Just say, So what! I have a crush.
"Mom!" He says, "That's not my style."
So true. It isn't. I tell him a story about when I was a kid and I had a crush on a boy named John. And at the holiday concert, my class was all together getting ready and my sister came in the room and said in front of everyone "Alie has a crush on John and she wishes she would get braces too so when they kiss their teeth would get stuck together!"
Coen looks shocked
Coen: What did you do?!
Me: I just was so embarrassed that I wanted to...
Me: Yes. And disappear. And everyone laughed.
Coen: Did they point?
Me: (laughing) I don't think they pointed. But it was embarrassing. But everyone forgot about it too...
Later, Coen asks if Daddy can come in his room so he can tell him about his crush.
Tad said that he too asked Coen how he knew he had a crush. Coen said, "I really like her."
Tad said, "Is she sweet?"
"Yes." Coen said. "And she has a nice smile. And she thinks I'm funny. Daddy? Did you ever have a crush?"
"Oh yes." Tad said, smiling, "Lots of them."
"And Daddy?" Coen said. "What if someone says that I have a crush on her in front of everyone?"
"You know what?" Tad said. "You can just smile and shrug your shoulders."
Coen liked that tactic.