This morning, as I sat clutching my cup of coffee, willing myself awake, the children began a discussion about love, getting married, and kissing on the lips.
It is WAY too early for this conversation, I thought, as I attempted to blend in with the couch. And by WAY too early, I don’t mean too early in the morning, but TOO EARLY IN MY LIFETIME.
We have expended a good deal of parenting energy discussing the merits of FRIENDSHIP between young boys and girls, while dissuading the whole boyfriend/girlfriend scenario.
A battle that has been hard fought, to be sure. Especially since the media targets young girls, feeding into the idea that they should look and act a good deal older than they really are.
Don’t even get me started on that one. But I will say that episodes of Hannah Montana and other Disney fare geared to the impressionable tweens have been banned in our house. Still. My oldest daughter gravitates toward the forbidden, and longs to steal glances at the paraphernalia pedaled with the tweens in mind.
Before anyone gets their underdrawers twisted into an uncomfortable knot, this is a very personal choice made in our house, and not meant as any kind of a judgement toward anyone who does not share our opinion.
Basically, the ideology we are attempting to infuse our children with, are the merits of modest dress, and appropriate and respective behavior toward members of the opposite sex.
We fight this battle daily with our 10 year old. Who loves to STRETCH her boundaries to the point of breaking, and gravitates toward the Boy Crazy.
Because she is my child.
I gave my parents the very same battle, going so far as to become engaged in the 4th grade. Shout out to Tom Cavenaugh, should you ever stumble upon this blog. And btw, in the summer of 1970, I lost the adjustable bumble bee ring you gave me. I cried bitter tears to repetitive audio renderings of “Go Away Little Girl” on my close-n-play phonograph over that loss, and the fact that you moved away without so much as a goodbye.
But I’ve moved on.
My children finally steered their conversation toward marriage, with Emme announcing rather strongly that SHE WAS NEVER GOING TO GET MARRIED. Since I did not just fall off of the turnip truck, as she believes, I know this to be a ploy. Aimed at throwing me off guard. But I’m onto her, and continue to keep laser eyes focussed on her comings and goings.
Cailey just sat and took the conversation in. She never EVER discusses the opposite sex with anyone but me, and always under the cloak of secrecy. Still waters run deep, with that one. She has a very definite opinion on what she likes and doesn’t like, and she has a very good 8 year old head on her shoulders. I really don’t think I’m going to have to worry much with her. In fact, given her rather headstrong nature, I think it best if I just continue to pray that when the time is right, a very Godly and STRONG man enters her life.
Because without God, and Herculean strength, he won’t stand a chance.
Jensen rounded out the discussion with a very firm, “WELL, I’M GOING TO GET MARRIED SOME DAY, AND I KNOW WHO I’M GOING TO MARRY!”
I prepare myself for either Minnie Mouse, or our sweet and very pretty pre-school director at church, who he pines over. Yes, Sylmarie, I’m talking about you.
“Who are you going to marry, buddy?”
“A PRINCESS, THAT’S WHO.”
Right on dude. And you will most certainly treat her like a princess. Just like your daddy treats your mommy.
I think the best way we can prepare our children for marriage is to set the best example possible.
The second best way is to hit my knees and pray to almighty God for the all strength that I’m going to need to allow them to have wings. And at the same time to spare them from making bad choices and all the heartache which follows.
And thirdly, to remember to keep the medicine cabinet well stocked with Extra-strength Excedrin and tissues. Oh. And a bottle or 5 of my favorite dessert wine. (Which by the way, can be found by the CASE LOAD at World Market. Just saying’.)