Monday, July 28, 2008
The Line Where MG and YA Divide
Girls have begun coming over to our house. Now there are new rules about keeping doors open and keeping the conversation wholesome since there is a little sister playing around the house with innocent toys like fairies and mermaids.
Along with the new rules, I have developed new and not entirely wonderful habits. I eavesdrop. I casually snoop. I ask prying questions. When I don't hear talking or laughing, I holler things into rooms like "Yoo hoo, everything all right in there or do you need some company?" and sometimes I've been known to show up at doorways holding popcorn or other excuses. Of course, I'm spying. I freely admit this. I told the kids I have become a hall monitor in my own house. They immediately informed me that the hall monitor in their school is much more understanding (and her nickname is Troll).
So the other day, Emma, the nine year old little sister, gave some sage advice to her older brothers. She explained, very matter of factly, that a boy on the bus told her the facts of life. I froze. Emma went on: "If you hold hands with a girl, and kiss her at the same time...well," she said, blushing, "you could get a baby." The moment passed. Her brothers, who luckily pretty much adore her, thanked her for the advice - and bless their adolescent hearts, they both kept straight faces. "No problem," she told them, and went back to her American Girl magazine.
Two days later, I overheard (honestly, they were sitting right on the deck while I made dinner with Emma) a conversation between my eighth grader and a girl regarding the early signs of pregnancy. So did Emma. It drifted right in through the window.
Emma looked at me and said, "Mom, don't worry."
"I am worried," I said, racking my brain for any time this could have happened.
Emma laughed. "Mom," she said patiently, "Philip is only in the eighth grade. He can't be pregnant."