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You’re starting to freak your father out. Already. During our trip to Spain earlier this month, you received a kiss from Luca each morning in the hotel’s dining room. Luca intimidated dada. He was an older toddler (with not one, but two years under his belt) and he possessed the infamous Spanish affect (i.e. dangerously romantic). You’ll come to know the type, I’m sure. Why do I bring this up? Because I want to have a “word” with you about boys. No, Evangeline, it is never too early. And I’ll tell you why.
Dada found mama’s fourth grade diary last week. He thought it was appropriate to share its contents with whomever happened to be in his presence at that opportune moment (it has since met its fate via pyre). While I may seem to many like an “open book,” there are some things that shall remain undisclosed in this blog. The entries in this diary, however, shan’t be one of them:
April 15, 1993: Today I bought my first Teen Magazine. I am learning how to make myself more attractive for Harry* so that he will like me. Harry ate glue today and he looked at me after he finished the bottle. I think he is trying to empress [sic] me, so I am going to try and empress [sic] him.
It gets worse..
April 16, 1993: Today I decided that Harry likes Margie*, not me, and that I actually like Tim.* I read about how to get a six pack in seven days, so hopefully by next week I will look good enuff [sic] for Tim. Tim is really hard to get, but I think I can get him. Tomorrow I’ll wear polka dots.
Oof. Where do I begin? For starters, boys are dangerous. And not in the way dada is worried about. Boys can take over your mind, like a pilot fish on a hammerhead. First they’ll make you forget your ABCs, then they’ll sneak into your unconscious, forever ruining your REM, and before you know it you’ll be writing ridiculous diary entries instead of doing your homework. And their presence in your mind will only become more insidious until you decide to settle down. Settling down gets a bad rap, but it’s called that for a reason. You’ll see.
So what lessons can I offer? Well, life isn’t rational, logical, or predictable. And bumpier rides make for more interesting stories. I’m pretty sure that Tim and Harry were partially responsible for my less than stellar GPA in the third quarter of the fourth grade. But watching Harry eat that glue was exhilarating, and twenty years later it made me and your dada’s listening audience lose control of our bladders after some absurdly long-winded laughing fits. In fact, every time I think of it I crack a smile. Evangeline, if you ever come across an opportunity to smile for 20+ years, take it.
It’s hard to predict what kind of mother I will be, Eva, but I do know one thing. Every time a new version of the I-Phone comes out or my alma mater raises the tuition, I look for new things to laugh about. I want you to skip school. Kiss that bad boy. And moon those kids on the playground, Eva. Sure, good grades might get you places, like a classroom seat at an Ivy League, or a corner desk at a big bank. But I’ve never peed my pants from reading the diplomas on my wall.
So, this is what you need to know about boys, darling. The Tims and Harrys and Lucas you meet will make you laugh, they’ll make you cry and they’ll also make you dumb. But, you’re a smart girl and I know you’ll figure it all out. You’re about to start writing one long story, and it’s called your childhood. You’ll realize that sometimes it’s best to crawl out your window. Leave that homework behind. Because those will be the chapters that you’ll always return to, the ones you’ll want to read over and over. I think Ferris Bueller said it best; “Life moves pretty fast, Eva. If you don’t stop to look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
*Names have been altered to protect the privacy of my, well, the privacy of my pride, I suppose.