When little kids ‘date’ little kids

Our son is “in love” with a girl in his class.

They’re getting married, he tells us, and it’s really going to happen because they “hang out almost EVERY day.” He says this part for emphasis because, really, how could that not lead to marriage?

He is six and I’m not sure how I feel about this whole “relationship.” Actually, I do. I think it’s adorable on one hand, but it also kind of weirds me out. I feel both things, equally, which means I’m never quite sure how to handle it.

It started off as a secret. He whispered to me, at night after prayers, that he had a crush on this particular young lady. He blushed when he talked about her and didn’t want anyone to know about his feelings. It was so cute!

Then, somehow, he started talking about her freely. He was in love! He shouted it from the rooftop of the playhouse. He told me she was his girlfriend and I managed to say something about how he was too young for a girlfriend but she sounded like “a very nice friend who is a girl.”

Meanwhile, I was thinking “I never had a ‘boyfriend’ — even a pretend little-kid boyfriend — when I was kid.” I remember being five or six and playing a game called Kissy Girls on the playground, where the girls would chase the boys and threaten to kiss them (but no one ever did because ew).

This was brand new territory for me, but apparently my playboy husband had lots of “girlfriends” in elementary school. He remembers nothing more than notes being passed, boxes being ticked and “breaking up” with somebody on the playground via another friend.

Our son would come home from school and tell me about how they — he and his beloved — spent lunch and recess playing Cops and Robbers with another little girl and her boyfriend. A double date! Awwww. He told me they had “stuff in common” because they both had brown eyes and were six years old. Double awwwww!

Then the drawings started …

Continue reading in my weekly parenting column, The Mom Scene …

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