Our 9 Year Old Has a Boyfriend (and I’m happy about it)
Last weekend when James went to pick up our beautiful girls, nine year old Isis Mae announced in the car to him that she has a boyfriend. When he arrived home to mine and the babies happy faces (we love when the girls arrive) he seemed traumatised. ‘Tell Mummy what you’ve just told me’ he stuttered. This usually means something good or bad. James looked like he’d seen a ghost but Isis was smiling away, as was Shayla-Rae. ‘Isis has got a boyfriend’ proclaimed Shayla. Isis didn’t look embarrassed at all, she was really proud and happy.
I mirrored her smile (I didn’t want her to feel awkward, I figured Daddy had that covered) and asked ‘What’s his name?’, ‘What’s he like?’, ‘Is he nice to you?’. She was beaming (let’s call him ‘T’ for the purpose of this blog), what poured out of her mouth next was so sweet.
‘He’s really funny’
‘He makes me laugh’
‘He makes me happy’
‘He reminds me of Daddy’
‘He makes me feel really special’
‘He’s nice to me’
‘He makes me want to go school’
‘He doesn’t look like Daddy but he reminds me of Daddy so it doesn’t matter what he looks like’
I glanced over at James who was still shell shocked by the fact she had a boyfriend, and asked him ‘Well, Daddy what more could you want?’
After making some poor decisions in my past when it came to choosing a partner. I was once again reminded of one of the greatest choices I made in life, choosing James. My husband is lovely to me, he is happy, kind, never speaks to me harshly, there’s never any name calling, he is kind, funny, generous and would move heaven and earth if I needed him to. I remembered how I felt when I held my little man in my arms for the first time on my bed the day I brought him home from hospital and I cried. I cried because I knew I was raising a man with the greatest role model that I could’ve found. I knew that one day this precious bundle would love and make someone else feel as valued as I felt in that moment.
I know that James has been dreading this day, but we talked about it and I reminded him that the best thing we can do to assure her safety and security as she rapidly is becoming an adolescent, is to make her feel loved, supported, confident in her choices, and keep being the best role models that we can be.
I may come across over the top sometimes, but if you knew my history I guess you could understand why. We go out of our way to affirm to our children that everything that happens to their physical bodies is their choice (obviously within reason, they’re not out trying to get piercings just yet). If we ask for a kiss and they say no, that’s ok, we may say ‘you meanie’ but there’s no fake tears until they give in, even with the babies. We want them to know it’s ok to say NO. Now hear me out, we don’t want them to go through life feeling fearful because of experiences I have had. This isn’t about putting my past onto them, but it is about us empowering them to be secure in their personal rights as they grow older.
You cannot protect your children from everything, no matter how much you want to, but I hope that we can impart wisdom, love, security and self-assurance to help them make the best choices for themselves.
Now, James and I haven’t met ‘T’ but from the way that Isis describes him, I think she has chosen wisely for her first real boyfriend. She is missing him over half-term, I have said that if they’re still together when it gets to the Summer holidays I will speak to T’s parents about trying to meet up at a local park or something for an afternoon so they can all play together (and maybe do some reconnaissance *winks*).
We’re proud of you Isis Mae, may you always choose boyfriends that remind you of your Daddy. We love you far too much to let you settle for anything less. xxx