Today, I got a text message from the wife that made my blood run cold.
No one was hurt or killed.
It was worse than that.
My daughter has a crush.
Some little knucklehead calls himself liking Asha Ming – and the feeling is mutual – much to my chagrin.
The moment I’ve dreaded since my daughter was first born is upon me.
Mind you, the wife told me that my son has a crush too, but who cares?
Why is my daughter’s crush the thing of nightmares (and not my son’s), you ask?
I’ll tell you.
Two months ago, she received a present from the ovary fairy, and my son is still shooting blanks – that’s why.
What would have otherwise been cute, something I would have laughed off, has transformed me into someone contemplating critically injuring a 12 year old boy.
I. Am. Not. Playing.
As I sit on the train home, I’m practicing what I’ve got to tell her about boys.
That’s right, I’m prepping for “the talk.”
I used to tell people how I’d handle the first boy who came over to the house to take Asha Ming on a date.
It involved me shirtless, with a pair of machete tucked into my waistband, a cloud of ganja smoke encircling my head and a screw face scowl gritting on the hapless youth with the misfortune of darkening my doorstep with his presence.
As time passed, I realized that I would have to soften my approach.
I would only cut every other boy who showed up at my door.
That still seemed too harsh.
Then it hit me.
I’ll just tell her the truth.
Boys want your cookie and once you give it to them, they’re ghost.
They’ll tell everyone you gave up your cookie and that you’re easy or a slut.
And if you don’t strap up, or if the jimmy hat breaks, you’ll be knocked up or get a venereal disease.
Yeah. That’s the ticket.
Leave boys alone or you’ll be a washed up single mom on welfare, living in a homeless shelter, subsisting on food stamps, with the clap.
I’m feeling better already.
By the time I got to Montcleezy, I felt confident I was ready for “The Talk.”
I prepped the wife on the car ride home of how I wanted to tackle the issue, only to learn that my daughter didn’t even want to tell me about the crush.
What do you mean “she didn’t want to tell me?”
The words did not compute.
How is it that MY daughter, the only one of the four that actually looks like me (Chanel I’m still taking your ass onto Maury) doesn’t want to talk to me about some stupid boy?
Doesn’t she know that pa dukes is a PIMP!?
One session with your dear old dad, and you’ll have these boys lining up to give you their milk money!
But it dawned on me that my whole machete-to-the-leg-of-the-first-boy-that-steps-on-my-porch approach is probably a bit…how do you say…excessive.
So as we hit the driveway, I resigned myself to delivering a different message.
In a nutshell, this is what I told her:
1. You’re my baby and I love you.
2. You’re body is maturing and since you’ve arrived at puberty, you’re experiencing physical and emotional changes.
3. Boys your age are also experiencing changes, and starting to notice and pay more attention to you.
4. It’s perfectly natural for you to be flattered by the new attention of boys, but it really shouldn’t be more than that.
5. Even though you’re growing and changing, you’re still a kid, and anything more than being friends with boys, isn’t appropriate at your age.
6. Girls who start coveting the attention of boys (and engaging in behavior to get and/or keep their attention) are setting themselves up to be taken advantage of and lowering their value and self worth.
7. Focus on developing yourself, doing well in school, and when you’re older and have self-mastery, managing relationships with boys will be easy.
8. Don’t ever feel pressured into doing anything that makes you uncomfortable. Resist peer pressure.
9. If you ever have any questions about anything, ask your mother and I. We’ve been there and done that and know infinitely more than your 11 or 12 year old peers.
10. Above all else, respect yourself. If you do, you’ll never allow anyone to disrespect you.
I cried myself to sleep last night (not really, but after all that sensitive drivel I delivered, it seemed like it fit here).
I shoed them out of my room, after answering their questions, confident that I had made my point.
And in case you missed it, here’s the abridged version:
You’re a kid. Be a kid. You’ve got your whole life ahead of you to be an adult, so don’t rush into it.
Crushes, dating, holding hands, kissing, etc., are “grown-up” activities for grown-ups, which you are not.
Don’t listen to your friends, boys or anyone encouraging you to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.
Protect your cookies, once you’ve given them away, they’re gone forever and you can’t get them back.
Any of you parents in a similar position, feel free to use any of this when you talk to your kids.
Or call me and I’ll talk to them.