“Hi Elijah! Are you getting in?”
“Marcus (his best friend) told me he likes Jerilynn now.”
“Aw, get in the car love. Did that bother you?” Elijah’s been crushing on Jerilynn all year.”
“No, and…. he told everyone that I like Jerilynn.”
“Aw, did that bother you?”
“Well, no I guess it’s a good thing. I mean, it is the truth and who cares if everyone knows.” I’m completely in awe of how confident my eight year old is. I know I would have been mortified and probably completely deny it, but I contemplate telling him because I don’t want him to question his confidence.
“Did Jerilynn say anything about it?”
“No, but she just smiled and she still talked to me.”
When Jose got home from work, I ask Elijah if I can share his story. He nods. Jose is amused.
I ask Elijah, “so do you want to have a girlfriend?” He’s in third grade and too young.
“Nah. I’m too young.” Good boy.
And Jose chimes in,”and having a girlfriend is like having homework.” Elijah cracks up hysterically!
“That’s so funny! I hate homework.” And we laugh.
“Wait, are you saying I’m like homework?”
“Well I like homework.” He winks at me smiling.
The next day I pick Elijah up and he stands staring at me with a smile on his face. “Mom! Everyone wants me to ask Jerilynn to be my girlfriend because they all know I like her.”
“What did you say?”
“I said, ‘having a girlfriend is like having homework.'” Still laughing and smiling. “So Luis said I need to make her my girlfriend and he’ll take care of her because he can cook and clean and that kind of stuff.” I’m cracking up.
“So what does Jerilynn have to say about all this?”
“She ran up to me and said hi. I told her to meet me under the tree next Monday.”
“Well Marcus is too shy to talk to her and he stalks her so I told him that she will be under the tree and he can go talk to her.”
“That wouldn’t bother you? I thought you liked her.”
“I do like her, but I think he likes her more and I guess I could like Jada and Marcus could have a chance. I don’t want to have a girlfriend. They’re like homework.” He laughs again. He is going to find any excuse to use that line. The rest of the ride home Elijah is singing songs and in a good mood.
I have no words. This boy amazes me at how mature he is and understanding he is about his friend and also that he feels too young for a relationship, but I’m also asking myself how I’m going to parent from here on out when kids are already talking about relationships. Smh