It’s Not a Date

Oh boy. It began a few months ago when my 12-year-old began seriously crushing on a boy. I reached back in my memories to 12 years old. Yup, crushes. That sounds about right. In fact, in fourth grade at age nine, I went to Mr. Bruno’s Pizza and the Arcade with Kevin Gratt on a “date.” I cannot believe my parents actually dropped me off and allowed this!!! Kevin was a nice boy, still is, we’re Facebook friends, but c’mon! I was only nine years old! So when my 12-year-old began asking to go to the mall with friends, I knew there was no turning back.

I talked her out of the mall and invited the crush and another 12-year-old “couple” to my house to hang out. But remember, it wasn’t a “date.” I have no idea what it was, but they had a great time hover boarding, walking around the block, and giggling a lot. It was adorable, sweet, scary (for me), and totally normal. 

I was grateful to my husband (her step-dad) who reminded my daughter that he has a shotgun and will protect her if any adolescent boy gets out of hand. She rolled her eyes, but liked that he had her back. (No, he does not actually have a shotgun.)

The bliss of a pre-teen relationship, which consisted of snapchatting constantly, buzzing around together in school hallways, being part of a squad, and debating whether or not to kiss, lasted about a few weeks. But then he dumped her and she was crushed.

I reminded her that’s why they’re called “crushes.” I also remembered why I hated being 12. Hormones, hysteria, heartache, humiliation—middle school is hard. Thankfully, she rebounded well and is currently “singe,” although her “ex” is crushing on one of her BFFs. It happens.

Then last weekend, my 10-year-old son asked to go to the mall with his friend and two girls! Wait what? “But Mom, it’s not a date.” Of course it’s not. You’re 10! Oh boy, I’m not sure I’m ready for this.

When and where was your first date?

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