Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Carpool

When I was in the 5th grade, I was terrified of boys.  Actually, I am pretty sure I didn’t know how to talk to boys until I was in my 20’s.   Once the 5th grade rolled around, I thought boys were so cute that I would literally shut down if they tried to talk to me.  I remember the summer between the 4th and the 5th grade being a game changer.  I remember that in the 5th grade, the boys that used to eat glue, eat their boogers or just plain pull my hair on the playground had a new glow about them.  Maybe even a swagger.  In the 5th grade, boys went from being friends I had grown up with to a complete mystery.

So, now it is weird having 5th and 6th grade boys of my own.  It is odd and interesting to hear the other side of the story.  The boys’ side.  

As I drive my boys and their friends from baseball games, to golf, to basketball clinics, I hear it all.  I love these little boys, who are quickly turning into young men.  When I was first introduced to the carpool years ago, it was torture. It was all about farting and burping and punching each other.   I can honestly say that the minutes were like hours when this would happen.

The carpool is now my friend.  It is my time to hover over their conversations.  The carpool is similar to a confessional.  Eventually, everything comes out.

Within even the last few weeks, the carpools have graduated to a new level. This past week, 4 ten year old boys discussed the fact that Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian in history.  It was really cool listening to them.  It was sort of surreal.  These boys that I have known since they were really little are discussing world events. They also discuss the MN Twins, their favorite sports, their favorite teams, golf scores, tournament placement, wins, losses, who made what team and now…GIRLS!  Today we discussed girls.

This is what happened.  I was driving my son Calvin and his 3 friends to golf.  One of the boys said to one of the other fellas, “I heard that some girls were calling you last week”.   I asked my son “were those the same girls that were calling you?”. Calvin said yes, they were the same girls and apparently they had called 3 out of the 4 boys in the car.  No one seemed put off by this information.  I know who these girls are and I know that the boys think they are cute and I also know who likes who (just like me and my 5th grade friends used to talk).  So, I throw out there “those girls are calling all of you guys, what's up with that” just to see what happens.  That caused a little bit of discussion.  Then, my son Calvin with his buzz hair cut, flat bill baseball hat and ears that he hasn’t quite grown into yet looks at me with a huge grin and says “THEY CAN'T RESIST US!”  And, with that, they were back to discussing sports.

If I knew how boys felt about girls when I was in 5th grade, I probably wouldn’t have been as scared of them.  It’s all the same thing, just packaged differently.

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