My almost 11 year old son was showing off his pinewood derby car to the almost 12 year old girl down the street. Since these two are normally at each other’s throats, I was surprised to hear their conversation be rather pleasant. The girl was suitably impressed with his artwork and asked if he had done any other painting. It was all very polite and almost adult…and I began to wonder if my son had turned into a different creature. Should I begin to worry about how he spends his free time? Might he be beginning to see girls in a different light that would require closer supervision? Is this the start of him mooning around moping after girls and wondering why they never pay him any attention?
Then the girl asked, “Want to go jump on the trampoline?”
And his response: “With you? No.” And they went outside.
No supervision required.
Funny how things switch up as kids near adolescence. After years of “be polite” “play nice in the sandbox” and “share” reminders, a little rudeness in the right direction is suddenly a relief. “He's not being friendly – oh good!”
Yes, Sarah, I almost yelled at him for his behavior, but then I remembered that her mother doesn't want her to jump on trampolines with boys (understandably), so I let it go.