Dating. Sort-of.

Yes, I'm aware that all of my posts lately are about my son. BUT he's just so INTERESTING. er, when he's not talking back, slamming doors, and arguing with me. Definitely not those times. However, this time I even tie it into writing. So stick me. Or go to the end. Or, you know, at least comment pretending you did one of those things. :)

One of the funniest things to watch is an 11-year-old boy who thinks he's a man. (don't tell him I told you that)

As far as I can tell, being a man involves telling his brother to go get things for him, announcing his favorite food is pizza, and announcing "I have to do EVERYTHING around here!" after I ask him to put away his clothes that I just got done picking up, washing, drying, and folding. But it also means one more thing that he doesn't think I know about.

Going out. With girls.

I teach Sunday School at our local church and a couple of months back, one of the boys (they're in 5th grade) asked my son if he knew *insert boy's name* and *insert girl's name* broke up. Zach replied "Yes, the whole school knows, duh." (because men are very mature in their speech patterns at this age)

My response was "What does it mean to break up? You stop walking around the playground together at recess?"

Man #1 response: "Yeah, pretty much."
Man #2 response: "God, Mom, they didn't actually walk around together." yes, my son used the word God in vain at Sunday School and I didn't realize it until just now because I laughed the first time. Momfail #35,654

Okay, now think back to last week when I shared that Zach is reading a series of books about Warrior Cats. Remember how I mentioned that the librarian at his school is a friend of mine? Tuesday, she came clean about the whole thing.

My son reads the books because he has a little crush on a girl who also enjoys the books (he also really enjoys the books, but that's how it started). And not just any girl. The only other 5th grader on his soccer team last fall. The only girl I've ever heard him talk about in any type of detail (other than the usual "she is so annoying" talk we get sometimes) in the past 6 years. The girl I thought was the only girl in his circle of friends.

She also has a crush on him.

Neither of them can figure this out. But because they're both in the library as often as they can be, the librarian - as usual - knows EVERYTHING!!

Also, another girl confided in the librarian that she wants to "read the books Zach reads". Upon further stealth-like questioning from my friend, she confided that she also has a crush on my son.

My name is erica and I am OLD!!!!

So, what, you were waiting for me to tie this in to writing or something?? Okay, fine, here it is. If you write YA and your character falls head-over-heels in love for the first time - don't let anyone tell you it doesn't happen. (okay, no, that has nothing to do with my son. that was my life. let me try again.)

If you write MG and your characters are in 5th grade and they have crushes on each other, don't let anyone tell you that romance doesn't belong in the story. Just make sure their parents are completely oblivious if they aren't friends with the school's librarian. ;)

Also, remember that 10- and 11-year-olds who date sometimes walk around the playground together.

Just for fun - do you remember your first crush?? Mine was somewhere around 5th grade. A few years ago I went through my old diaries and yes, this was an entry (I can't believe I'm admitting this) (and remember I was in 5th grade in the school year of 85/86):

*insert boy's name here* "tripped over his desk today. He doesn't know what to do with that gorgeous bod!"

Umm, yeah. Please, someone else, say something embarrassing in the comments!! :)


  1. First crush: I should be ashamed to say it...first grade.

    I love the sweet romance in MG. I don't read much YA, but I loved the romance in The Hunger Games. I'm currently reading The Wednesday Wars, and I'm loving that subtle romance there, too (eventhough these characters are seventh-graders).

    In my current WIP, I am adding a hint of romance, and my characters are seventh-graders. So, yes, I, too, think romance has its place in books for young readers.

    Good post.

  2. Me and my two best friends used to chase around these three boys when we were in 3rd grade. Each of us had one picked out that we were going to marry. They, of course, wanted nothing to do with us.

    But my first serious crush was when I was 13. He was 27 and managed the horse farm down the road from me. He had no idea how much I loved him - which was just as well, since it was like illegal and gross for him to show anything but a friendly interest in me. But he was so dreamy. I followed that poor man around like a puppy. On the upside, I got free riding lessons from him as long as I helped out by cleaning stalls. :happy sigh:

  3. I am SO relieved that my 10-year-old son has yet to notice girls. Granted that's a bit off topic, but when he starts to notice girls there will be a whole new set of issues to deal with.

  4. I imagine that's part of the beauty of being a parent and a YA writer, if fuels your writing! ;)

  5. Hahahahahahaaaaaa! Still laughing! I can't believe you wrote that in 5th grade!
    I absolutely loved this post. One of those that really makes me look forward to being a parent one day!

  6. That's so funny. I think it's great you have your librarian friend to get all the goss. The memories are flooding back.

  7. Cute post Erica,

    Mine was even earlier than Linda's Kindergarten... Her name was Phyllis Lucarelli. I can't believe after DOZENS of years I still remember her name. And you think you're old? What should I say? EKKKK! I won't even dignify the year. Let's just say it was way before 1986...

    I remember we had a outing at the beach and I pestered my parents for blue bathing suit because that was Phyllis' favorite color.

  8. OMZ, that was one of the funniest posts I've read in a while. My son is almost 9 and completely oblivious still to girls (while his almost 6-year-old brother is on his 3rd fiancee), so this is somewhat on my mind. I wonder how the crushes will start and who he'll like. Will it be someone we've known forever or someone new?

    One of my early crushes was on a 5th grade classmate and my best friend liked him, too. He liked her better. Sigh. And this is how old I am: I had a crush on Fonzie!


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