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Holidays, Homeland, and 4 Boys Like My Daughter

Life's moments.

I don't know what has my head spinning the most—the fact that it's already Thanksgiving and 103.5 is playing Christmas songs, that I finally watched the entire first season of "Homeland" and I go to bed thinking that Mandy Patinkin is truly the only person I can trust, or the revelation that four 10-year-old boys have crushes on my daughter.

Who am I kidding? The latter, of course.

Now, I have told you all many times that my kid has zero interest in boys. Zip. Nada. While many of her friends are busy texting boys and passing notes, my daughter still thinks it's all, well,

Lame, mommy.

However, it never occurred to me that, even though she isn't curious at all about that stuff out there circling around the teather-ball and handball court, boys, in fact, FOUR OF THEM, are curious about my girl.

I discovered this when I heard my daughter's cell phone ring. It was an alert that a text was coming in.

Just to show you how not into any of this my kid is, she never even checks her phone. It lives in her backpack and is only pulled out when she needs to call her dad or me.

So, she's on the couch drawing and I'm in the kitchen cooking when I hear the beep sound. I go get her phone and it reads,

who are u going to dance with at culmination?

No name, just a phone number.

Bunny? You got a text.

I hand her the phone, she looks at it, then tosses it aside and continues drawing. That's it?

Honey, who was that?

A boy at school. He has a crush on me.

Now, most moms might smile and go back to what they're doing, seeing that their sweet little girl is enjoying drawing and not texting. But not this mom. I was more awake than I had been in months.

Really? A boy has a crush on you? 

Yeah, mom. Actually, four boys do.

And that's when I suddenly went from cool, collected mom to "ohmygod tell me everything while I grab my coffee and curl up on the couch and hold on to your every word as we share this pivotal mother-daughter moment" mom.

Who are they? When did this start? How do you know? Why the hell haven't you told me?! Who are their parents and are they Republicans or Democrats?!

Hmm, perhaps she didn't tell me because she was worried I would act like a complete spaz. She would be correct.

Mom, it's no big deal. Ever since we found out we have to dance at graduation that's all everyone talks about at the lunch benches. Who are you dancing with? Who wants to dance with who? Blah, blah, blah. It's annoying.

I was in heaven listening to this. I don't know why, but this was our first boy conversation and it felt incredibly special. Until... she went back to drawing. No, no, no! We're not done here, honey! This is a moment. Our moment!

Do you like any of them, baby?

As friends, but... eww, no.

Really?

No.

Are you going to answer his text?

I wasn't planning on it.

And then she looked at me, and handed me the phone.

But it sounds like you want to.

And she laughed.

I actually blushed from embarrassment. Realizing, once again, that my daughter is nothing like me when it comes to boys. Nothing. Thank God.

At her age I was the one chasing them around the playground and that chase kept going for many years. What was I chasing? What did I think I needed to make me feel OK with myself? What enormous hole was I hoping to fill?

I was missing so much. Broken in so many ways. I would have given anything to have four boys want to dance with me.

But my kid is whole. She feels OK with herself. More than OK. She has no need to chase because she has everything inside her that matters. No broken parts.

I looked at her, and gave her a kiss.

I'm not surprised the boys have crushes on you, honey. Not one bit.

And as she went back to drawing I returned her phone to her backpack where it lives, smiling as we ignored the alerts as they continued to come in.

That's right... let them chase her.

Cindy Dunne November 19, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Lovely piece, as always. I can see why you're so proud!
Susan McMartin November 19, 2012 at 06:08 PM
thanks, cindy! have a wonderful thanksgiving. xo
Thom November 19, 2012 at 08:48 PM
you are on a roll. bty - chasing boys doesn't only come by way of being broken. there are a lot of moving parts to that part of your story that are related more to the fantastic way you are gifted to move about than related to missing pieces of your life. my guess is that you would have been chasing boys regardless of what else was happening at home. i just love who you are - your ability to understand and get inside people, to be available, relevant and vital, to place another ahead of your self, your gift to place the present within the context of the larger moment - all great natural enthusiasms that scream who you are. nothing wrong with chasing boys. its what you do with them after you catch them you have to be careful.
Don Helverson November 20, 2012 at 01:54 PM
It's different being a Dad. That was, like, pretty much the last thing I ever wanted to talk about or hear about with my daughters. Why wasn't there a musical called, "DADDY GO GET YOUR GUN." You want to curl up and chat with her about it. I want to pack up and move to Greenland.
Burt Bakman November 20, 2012 at 03:47 PM
I have two daughters. I can't imagine having to worry about boys. I don't want to be that dad.. But no one dates my girls. I can't believe that this is going I happen.. I do love homeland and Christmas music. Even though I'm Jewish. I listen to it even during the summer sometimes..
Susan McMartin November 20, 2012 at 05:26 PM
thom, thank you! can i just read your comment every morning?? your words make me feel ten feet tall!
Susan McMartin November 20, 2012 at 05:26 PM
lol! thanks for the comment, don!
Susan McMartin November 20, 2012 at 05:29 PM
burt, not only will it happen -- it will happen faster than you know! i wish i could keep her this age forever. i see my friends dealing with their daughter's getting their driver's licenses and going to college and i want to run for the hills! i can't imagine any of it. and, yes, i am now officially a homeland addict and my house already has christmas decorations out. i'm a complete sucker for this holiday. thanks for the comment and happy thanksgiving!
John Emerson November 21, 2012 at 05:45 AM
I love your writing. It always allows me to experience it with you. I have a grown daughter and I remember at a certain point in her life I understood why some cultures have arranged marriages, I knew I could choose better than her. Bottom line is are they happy? Good Luck, it sounds like you've done good ground work and all will be well. Fellow "Homeland" addict.
Kelly Cole November 22, 2012 at 07:30 AM
Lovely piece, Susan. Happy Thanksgiving to you and H from me and J.
Susan McMartin November 23, 2012 at 08:23 PM
thanks, john! i always love reading your comments! hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving!
Susan McMartin November 23, 2012 at 08:24 PM
thanks, kelly! love to you both!
Becki November 28, 2012 at 04:42 AM
Susan! Had me Laughing! Great inspiration! I am an ACOA So i know what you mean when you asked what you needed to fill yada yada, because i was that girl too, so finding a sense of security that your daughter is okay with herself, must be completely and truly astounding.... and what a wonderful mother you must be to have given her that security :)
Susan McMartin November 28, 2012 at 05:23 AM
becki, thank you! i'm so happy i made you laugh! yes, as one acoa to another i can honestly say i understand the 'yada, yada'! thank you for your sweet words. made my day!
Becki November 28, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Glad to have made yours! Because i have found a new Blogger. writer to follow on twitter and so on :) Cant wait to read your book when it comes in! Very excited!! Cant wait to see what else comes on here too!!

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