Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Secret Love

It's good that Tamara is so observant and was able to speak to the kids about their new found secret loves. I guess this means we are coming of age as parents. Definitely scary.

I am very glad the kids have each other in the same class (especially since the class stays together for another 15 months). That way they don't have to go through the whole ordeal alone. It's hard to figure out how to deal with all of those emotions as a young kiddo. Hopefully we can help them talk about their feelings more openly over time. Or, maybe we should strive to supress all those feelings, send Shantal to an all girls catholic school starting in the 5th grade (she's in the 3rd now), and find some sort of academy for Spencer?

Actually, the best approach is probably (in addition to lots of prayer), remaining calm and being excited for them. Telling them that all emotions have a place and a time. We have also told what we termed the "mommy and daddy story" each week at our Family Night. We should probably start that back up and emphasize the positive that comes from being committed to one another for a lifetime, and how important it is to make good friends at this stage in their life.

I still remember my first puppy love. I don't recall if we kissed, or anything like that. I think we really started being interested in each other in the 5th grade, but I'd have to ask my parents. It's weird what I remember and what I don't. For instance, I remember her dad's beard. A beard with no mustache. I always thought that was a bit of an odd look. But, I don't remember much of what me and my sweet puppy love did together during our relationship.

On parenting, I have one uncle who would openly ask his kids - "did you kiss him/her on your date tonight." He was kind of like one of the teenagers and was excited for the outcome. I think he may have extracted more information from his kids that way, and obviously trusted them to make good decisions. They were all high school/college age by then, but he seemed to be an old pro at it. That's what I was trying to get at above - be excited and open about their feelings. They probably aren't planning any grave life altering action at this point, and being open and excited for their discovery will probably help them express their feelings and come to terms with them.

No matter what, this is obviously a tough subject that will keep us busy with Shantal and Spencer for the next 10-15 years. Did you calculate the target marriage date there?

One note on the timing of these feelings. I would say the timing is not unexpected. In school, the kids read a coming of age, discovering the other sex book in school just prior to spring break - Ben liebt Anna (Ben loves Anna). The hero and heroine discover their interest in one another and end up spending time together, including an afternoon together in her bedroom. This leads to them laying down together on her bed, which results in them experiencing "weird" feelings. They later go swimming together in the buff at a family picnic. Again, they both feel those "weird" feelings, this time after seeing the other 3rd-4th grade person naked. After falling in love in school and having some fun together over the summer Anna, the heroine, returns to her native Poland for a tragic ending to the young love.

According to Shantal and the homework assignments we saw coming home from school (reading comprehension assignments), they didn't get so far in the book that the kids were swimming naked, but we need to follow-up.


G in Berlin said...

Hmm. I actually feel that is a little young to read about swimming naked,strange feelings, etc. How do you feel about it?

Gardner said...

Yea, it seemed a bit early. I think making a big deal of it would only cause more problems though.

March 2007