DD to her friends: “Who are you all asking to the carnival, because I’m going with Z. I have to buy the licorice, but he’s getting the cotton candy. I had to give him a chicken nugget to get him to go, but now it’s for sure.”
Two other girls made immediate plans to give their crushes lunch at the earliest opportunity.
Say what? It seems that just yesterday my daughter felt no need for a Ken doll to hang out with her Barbies: “What for? What’s he gonna do?”
Then she turned ten this past spring. Ah, spring. Such a ripe season, with little goslings following Mama and Daddy Goose on the pond near our house, rhodies bursting into bloom…and the girls from fourth grade quite suddenly figuring out why Barbie wants Ken.
One girlfriend, however, had a different take on the situation. She sounded frankly appalled. “You can’t invite a boy. That’s called dating, and that is not allowed. You’re too young to go on a date.”
Peer-driven mandates do not sit well with Miss, so she plopped her hands on her still boyish hips, whipping back, “I can, too, date. I’m old enough. I’m allowed.”
(Note to reader: Uh-uh.)
Anxiety clutched my chest as I listened. I’d been counting on the tween years to start around eleven or twelve or, better yet, forty. I needed more time before I relinquished my baby and all her innocence to the likes of Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus.
I wonder if the Berenstain Bears have a book about dating? I thought as I prepared to step in with as much good humor as I could muster.
Before I entered the room, however, I heard my daughter’s voice again, this time tinged by a modicum of doubt. “I can date….” There was a pause followed by this conclusion: “I’m not allowed to eat too much junk food, but I can date if I want to.”
As it turned out, she did go to the carnival with Z—and her friends. More on that next week….
For now, sign me: ‘Tween Mom