As a romance author, I'm looking for romantic gestures everywhere: at the grocery store, where a man is buying somebody flowers, at the car pick-up line, where the little boy with puppy dog eyes hugs his kindergarten teacher, and in my car on the way home from school, as my daughter tells me of her latest boyfriend, Kyle.
She's nine, and I gotta say, this boyfriend thing this year...whew! She's on number three, I think...I've been telling her that she doesn't need a boyfriend, that she doesn't need some little boy to make her worth something, that she's perfect without a boyfriend, blah blah blah...I'm sure that's exactly what she hears.
But, since she's nine, going on fourteen, and she's my daughter, she doesn't listen to a single word that comes out of my mouth. So I'm letting her learn on her own. I gotta say, I much preferred her last boyfriend Alex. Alex didn't call her (my cell phone) at all hours of the day and night like Kyle does. Alex didn't insist she meet him at the park. He didn't tell her she would kiss him if she loved him, like Kyle did. No. I'm not kidding. This little punk really said that. I sat her down for a heart-to-heart after that, and then I went to meet his grandpa, just to make sure everything was on the up and up.
BTW, she actually listened to me on that last one. I was so proud...She told him, "I love you, but I don't have to prove it."
Oh, back to the romantic gestures...Kyle actually showered her with gifts in his initial courtship ritual. He gave her a ring, a necklace, and a shirt with butterflies on it. I don't know where this kid got that, but I'm glad she's his girlfriend now, instead of in seven years or so...He gave her all that stuff, then he pulled the whole, "if you love me, you'll..."
Smooth kid. Real smooth.
So, today, he broke up with her. Then he took her back. I asked her if she begged, and she said no. That he'd asked another girl to be his girlfriend, and the other girl said no, so he went back to my daughter. As she said it out loud, I could hear the cogs turning in her head, as she realized that she'd become leftovers.
My daughter's a smart girl. But she's starting to get self-esteem issues that I can't control, beyond telling her everyday what a smart, beautiful, healthy little girl she is and how much I love her. At the moment, her love life is like a romance novel, chock-full of happiness, drama, and angst.
I need to take notes.