A few months back, on her own, Everly started to tell her brother and random friends and family, “Arlo is SO handsome!” It always made me giggle as I assumed she was just repeating what she had heard me say to him before.
Two days ago, we were sitting in the frozen yogurt place enjoying our treats and Everly was fixated on a young family outside. Among them was a boy, probably five or six, with shaggy blonde hair. After watching them through the glass for a few minutes Everly turned to Brent and I and said, “That boy out there is SO handsome!”
Brent and I immediately turned and looked at each other and laughed a little nervously. I mean she is THREE. Three years old and already announcing that a boy outside is handsome.
I don’t know what to make of it. Of course, it was completely innocent - just her observation. But it still felt odd to me to hear her make such a declaration out of the blue about someone she didn’t know.
She has years ahead of her until boys turn into icky cootie carriers and then beyond that into love interests, but it was an interesting emotional experience for me. To think - aww, that’s adorable and then wait, you are way too young to even be thinking about the physical appearance of another person. I think I’m probably giving it far more weight than it even deserves in writing it here.
A few years ago, I found some of my old diaries from elementary school - around fifth grade, I guess… And reading through them, I felt like I was way too young to even be talking about boys and crushes and “going out” and yet - there I was doing it.
Looking back on my youth, I’ve come to feel like perhaps I missed out on some real opportunities to be adventurous and develop a personal identity as a young girl because I was so wrapped up in getting a boyfriend and wondering if they liked me or not. It was the focus or my existence for most of middle school and high school.
As an adult, I wish I could have changed that experience. I wish I could have built a core of self worth around my talents and my best friends and saved the boys for years when I was emotionally more mature.
I know I’m jumping the gun in a big way by even writing these things outloud - but ultimately, we all just want to save our kids from some of the mistakes we made growing up. I know I can’t, but it won’t stop me from wishing I could.
I know that genuine interest in boys is far off for my girl, I’m just hoping