Crushes. Hormones. Emotions. Heart Flutters. Attraction. It happens you know. I’d like to think it happens younger these days than it did a hundred years ago but Tom Sawyer wasn’t very old when he got ‘engaged’ to Becky Sharp now was he?
I hear many mothers (and I know I was one myself) who think that if you pretend that girls and boys will be uninterested in each other… they just WILL. If you keep them ‘asleep’ they won’t have hormonal and emotional responses. Just tell them to say ‘no’ to their interest in the opposite sex and it’ll all go away. If only it was that easy.
You see, even if your children show no interest or have self-control over their interest in the opposite sex, that doesn’t mean that they won’t be bothered by others who are less self controlled or who do not hold a standard of ‘wait until you’re older’ for these kinds of relationships. Your sons and daughters may find them on the receiving end of ‘shadows’ and even ‘propositions’ to ‘go out’.
My daughters know the boys exist. They know what they find attractive and what they find repulsive. They’ve learned, by the boys who have shown interest in them, what kind of guys they AREN’T interested in as well as those they are. They know that a relationship is futile and foolish and they work on guarding their hearts but I’d be foolish to pretend that because they don’t have a boyfriend that they are immune to boys.
Sometimes, I think we as mothers are more interested in fairy tales than reality… and I think that we somehow think reality is BAD. I’m glad to know that my girls find boys attractive… in general anyway! I don’t want them to become emotionally attached to boys and I don’t want them mooning over them or, God forbid, lusting after them! Please don’t misunderstand me. But in this age of society SCREAMING from the rooftops that homosexuality and lesbianism are viable options for our teens, I’m glad to know that my girls are attracted to the gender that God intended! This is a good thing.
However, because I’m not overly prudish about the possibility of my daughter being attracted to someone, they talk to me. They know I won’t mock them, dismiss them, or be embarrassed myself. They know that I’m not going to give them a sermon everytime they mention what kind of boys they don’t like or do like… and that I’m not going to cut off all contact with family friends just because the son of this family appears to have a crush on my girls. My girls are learning how to deal with those issues while under our care and protection. Rather than them being confused, ashamed, or even secretly harboring inappropriate (however innocent) fantasies about some boy, they just talk. I know who they feel sorry for, who they respect, and I like hearing it.
I noticed one of my daughters has a Miss Galahadaline complex. She feels sorry for certain guys and doesn’t like to think of them as being hurt. I was able to point out that many times girls like under dogs. Their mothering instinct comes out and they want to ‘make it all better’. I was able to casually mention how sad it is for those guys when they enter serious relationships… sometimes marriage… with someone who doesn’t appreciate them for who they ARE… rather than who they are not! I’ve noticed that the sympathy in her voice is less personal and more general lately. I think the point went home. And at little embarrassment to herself!
Now honestly, I’m not done with this season. My eldest will be married next month. Almost to the day! My second eldest is only 16. So far, however, this openness is working. I may be singing a different tune when Jenna and Andra come around. Who knows. But right now, I am not too concerned. I’m enjoying having a relationship with my girls that gives them the freedom to tell me what they’re thinking… in spite of the fact that in some ways I’d like their lives focused solely on dolls and dogs again!