Young love and carpool lines

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We’ve had so much rain this winter that when we finally had a sunny afternoon last week, I took the opportunity to surprise Parker by meeting him in the school’s atrium, rather than the carpool line. It was adorable to watch those little guys march out with all of their gear on, and I thought for SURE he would see me immediately, and run over to give me the biggest hug ever - because I’m his Mommy!

I thought wrong.

Mr. P was far more interested in flirting (more like annoying) his “friend” in front of him, and as I watched my 6-year-old fling his backpack straps at this super cute co-ed classmate, I thought to myself, “and so it begins.”

To date, Parker hasn’t shown much interest in the opposite sex. It wasn’t but a few months ago that he and his kinder-buddies formed a “boys club” at school whose entire purpose was to chase the girls on the playground at recess. However, there I was waiting for him to notice me, the minutes were crawling by, and he was still 100 percent enamored with this little girl. Mom was not a thought in his pretty little blonde head.

First I tried moving around to see if he’d notice me - nothing. Then I tried calling his name (loudly) - nothing. Finally, I found myself waving my arms like a lunatic - but still nothing. In fact, Parker had moved past the strap-flinging and started playing peek-a-boo with said sweetheart from behind his camo-dino backpack. Even the teachers around started staring and looking at me like, “Wow - he is really into her!”

So, I did what every self-respecting woman would do … I went outside and sulked on the steps. (I really did.) Here I was expecting a hero’s welcome from my first-born son, and I didn’t even get a head nod! Just this morning he was giving me monkey hugs, but somehow I’ve become irrelevant in the last eight hours. What? How? Why?

“OK,” I said to myself, "time to get a grip and go get your little man.” I went back in, and, finally, caught his eye. He was so confused as to why I was in the school, rather than in the carpool line, and his face looked utterly befuddled. As we walked out, we shared an awkward sideways hug and then even more awkwardly dodged the traffic in the carpool line … the one I should have been in.

But, when I asked him “Parker, why were you hitting that girl with your backpack strap?” He said (wait for it), “She liked it!” My own memories of grammar school boys started running through my head, and I couldn’t help but chuckle. Maybe she did, maybe she didn’t, but I think it’s safe to say that I watched his first tiny school romance sprout that day, and it was worth the wait.

Jordan Schupbach is a mother of three living in the Houston area. She blogs at www.lattesandliving.com - sharing the good, the bad and the frenzied.

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