I’m on hallway duty this morning when Brandon, a 3rd grader, comes and stands beside me, looking out across the hall as I am, hands in his pockets, clearly ready for a chat.
“Ms. Art,” he begins, “I need to ask for your advice.”
“What should I do if I had a girlfriend, but then I broke up with her, but now she likes my friend who’s on my baseball team?”
Now this is tricky, because I don’t want to discount his feelings or make him feel stupid or like I’m not taking him seriously, BUT OH COME ON. I have to NOT SAY, “Well, Brandon, you quit acting like having a girlfriend involves any kind of actual emotions at age 8, and also you quit asking people to be your girlfriend in the first place, and also you send this girlfriend to me so I can set her straight too, and send your friend from baseball while you’re at it,” and I have to not say all of this while trying really hard not to laugh, and instead I say, “Um – well, no matter what happens, it’s not that likely that someone you like when you’re eight is going to be your eventual wife, you know? So it doesn’t matter so much who likes whom, does it, really?”
“IT DOES TO ME.” Well, yeah. Of course it does.
“Well, I mean, you say you broke up with her, right? So I think that means she’s free to like anyone she wants. Even if it’s a friend of yours.” This is at least true before puberty, right?
Somehow the topic of conversation switches to roller coasters for awhile, not sure how that came about, but then…
“There she is, see, in the cafeteria line in the grey sweater?”
“Yeah. That’s my girlfriend. But I know she still likes me because she thinks I have another girlfriend now.”
Unclear on that, but, “Ah, yeah, she’s maybe a little jealous, huh?”
I think this is where I was suddenly going to manage to impart some kind of wisdom compatible with an eight-year-old’s concept of emotions and relationships and he was going to see the light and realize that he has such a limited time to just be a kid, and be free of all that, and why on earth would he want to grow up any faster than he’s already going to? But no. Here is instead where he took off down the hall, arms raised triumphantly.
“I win, then! She’s jealous, haHA! I win!”
I’ll get it next time.
Marine Biology For Poets August 14, 2009Posted by Ms. Art in Darndest Things.
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Morgan: “Ms. Art! Do dolphins swim in the deep and salty sea?”
Dang Whippersnappers, Don’t Know How Good They’ve Got It, Etc. August 14, 2009Posted by Ms. Art in Darndest Things.
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Khalen: “Ms. Art. Did you watch ‘America’s Got Talent’?”
Self: “Nope! Do you know I don’t even HAVE a TV?”
Khalen and every other kid within hearing range: *dead of shock*
Khalen: “But you have a TV in here! Why do you watch TV here?”
Self: “I don’t watch it here either. I use it to show you guys art on the computer, though, remember?”
Caleb: “Yeah! And do it got a DVD player?!”
Self: “Mmm, no. A VCR, I think.”
Caleb: “What’s a VCR?”
Self: *has old-lady-type thoughts, shakes cane*.