My torso. That’s the indicator for me. When I’m deep enough in cold pool water for it to hit my torso, that’s when it really takes my breath away. At this particular moment, I actually was that deep in the community pool as my daughters splashed and giggled around me. They were seemingly unaware of the water’s temperature, and also of my sudden mental departure.
I had just regained feeling in my extremities as my body adjusted to the cold water, but now my breath was once again stuck in my throat as I watched what was unfolding in front of me.
Two girls from my son’s school had arrived at the pool, and though I saw them, they did not see me. Their eyes were focused elsewhere.
On my son.
Karson was in a different area of the pool playing basketball in the water with a group of boys. They were yelling and lunging and smacking the water as boys do. They were loud and completely focused on the game.
I watched as the girls smiled and repeated Karson’s name to each other with raised shoulders and eyes that twinkled.
My eyes surely were playing tricks on me because by all indications, it looked as if these girls were going into flirt mode with their designated target being my ten-year-old baby boy.
Perhaps I’m being dramatic.
Perhaps I’m being a mom.
Either way, I’m being honest when I tell you I hadn’t really considered the idea that my son was entering the age of “girl notices boy.”
I am getting deeper into this parenting thing all the time. My torso is getting tense.
The flirting girls should not have taken me by surprise. I was a fifth grade girl once.
I remember the whispering mobs that surrounded me on the playground alerting me that one of the boys may want to “go out” with me. I never actually went anywhere with any of them, but the scouting reports were real and the drama level was high. So were my bangs (but that’s another issue all together).
As a mom of two daughters, I’m accustomed to drama in my house as well.
My five and six-year-old girls have dramatic moments more than daily. They react with high emotion to various subjects ranging from a twisted seat belt strap, to pant legs that feel too “lumpy bumpy.”
My Kindergarten daughter rejected three marriage proposals from boys in her class this year as well as felt the sting of rejection herself as little friends chose to play with someone else at recess. Tears and hugging were involved.
My youngest daughter was given a pair of shoes for her third birthday. The shoes were cute, but too small for Kenzie who squeezed them onto her foot like Cinderella’s step-sisters and then said, “It hurts, but it’s a GOOD hurt!” I repeat, she was three.
Drama is no stranger of mine.
But it is unknown to Karson.
Karson’s drama level ranks somewhere between, “What’s drama?” and “Oh, were you talking to me?” He’s all boy with a kind and gentle spirit mixed with a love for competition and fun.
So when the girls stood poolside and repeatedly yelled Karson’s name as they stood up tall and pretty hoping for his attention, he wasn’t ignoring them. That would never even cross his mind. He was simply too involved in his basketball game to notice.
Until the basketball bounced off the water and rolled up onto the warm concrete right to the girls’ feet.
Their smiles grew as one of them picked up the loose ball and tossed it back to Karson who stood with outstretched arms in the water.
He caught the ball and gave them an ever so slight nod of his head to thank them. Then he turned around and made a bank shot.
My eyes darted back to the girls to see them slouch and sigh in disappointment. They had been hoping for a little more interaction. They walked away shaking their heads.
I found myself tilting my own head back in quiet laughter. Apparently my son has reached the realm of “girl notices boy”, but he’s still on the outskirts of “boy notices girl.”
I have to admit that I’m perfectly fine with that.
I’m not kidding myself. I know that one of these days I’ll turn around and will no longer be the only woman in my son’s life. And I’m okay with that. I look forward to knowing her.
I just hope she can rebound.