Since I wrote about the topic of marriage last week, it's seems only natural to follow up with some ruminations about falling in love. But in this entry it's not me but my 5 year old.
My 5 year old, The Big A, (despite a penchant for attending musical theater) is your typical boy. He loves Minecraft, Star Wars and Angry Birds. He adores drawing but his subject matter is limited to the aforementioned three topics. He likes play fighting and wrestling. Words like "butt" or "toilet bowl" are the height of humor to him and at this year's Easter egg hunt he refused to pick up any pink or purple eggs on principle because they were "girly colors". I've heard him mutter "Boys rule, girls drool" a few times. I put that smack down on that so he later amended it to "Kids rule, grown-ups drool". This year, unlike last year in pre-school, nearly ALL of his play dates have been with boys. So, keep in mind he's identifying more with his own gender and also keep in mind that every time he cracks up when someone "toots" I realize that there's not a lot of deep thinking going on here.
So imagine my surprise when, a few weeks ago, I was putting him to bed and this conversation happened. VERBATIM.
Big A: (staring up at the ceiling) Mom, I think I'm falling in love with Faith.
Me: (having fallen off the bed) What?
Big A: I've fallen in love with Faith.
I recalled a cute little girl with long hair. I began to grin and tried to stifle laugher at what my 5 year old was earnestly telling me.
Big A: (raising an eyebrown) Are you crying?
Me: No. I was laughing.
Big A: Because sometimes people cry when they're happy. It's okay to cry.
Me: (equally shocked by his observation) Yes, that's true. But I wasn't crying. I'm happy, though. Falling in love is good. Does Faith know?
Big A: (begins grinning) Yes.
Me: Well, does she feel the same way?
Big A: I think so.
Me: How do you know?
Big A: We play on the playground together a lot. She pretends to be Princess Toadstool. And I'm Mario. And I save her and bring her snacks.
(Ah -- the bringing of snack offerings to your lady. The cornerstone of any successful relationship. Big A's father has taught him well.)
Me: That seems about right.
Big A: Yes, when someone is in love with you, they like to spend time with you.
(So true, Little Grasshopper, so true!)
Me: Well, I think Faith is lovely!
Big A: (somewhat annoyed) Maa-omm! It's not how she looks on the outside. It's what's on the inside that counts.
Me: shocked silence
Big A: (concluding) She is pretty though.
My eyes bugged out of my head as I pondered the level of self-awareness being expressed by this little person who is usually smashing something with his foam sword or whining to play on his father's phone and eat jellybeans, usually simultaneously. I stared at my child as I wondered where all of this was coming from. Although we're both free with kisses and I-love-yous when we're coming or going, my husband and I rarely prance around the house beaming at each other while proclaiming "I'm in love with you!" I had no idea where Big A was getting all this "in love" business from as even the nomenclature he was using seemed so foreign to me.
(A few days later I found out that the children have been watching Frozen all winter long during lunch so perhaps he drew inspiration from there.)
Big A ended the conversation by rolling over and saying "I'm going to sleep now. I still want to be a train engineer, a golfer and a farmer when I grow up. But I'm also going to be Faith's husband."
Me: Well, she has to agree to that. Rather than jumping the gun, maybe we could start by inviting her over for a play date?
Big A: That would be great! And I'm going to invite her to my birthday party.
Love hasn't yet become complicated for The Big A. Find someone you like to hang out and eat with and invite them over your house and....that's amore!