When we were walking out, he looked around carefully to make sure no one was listening and said, "Mom, I'm pretty sure I have a girlfriend." This was news to me because he's nine years old and not allowed to date. Not that he knows that because I never thought I'd have to explain that to a nine year old. Anyway, just for fun I played along.
"Oh yeah? You think you have a girlfriend? Not sure?"
"I mean, yes I do. She said, "yes."
"She said, "yes" to what?"
"She said, yes we're dating."
"You asked her out on a date?"
He rolled his eyes. "No mom! No one asks. Her friend asked."
"Her friend asked if you wanted to date her?"
He rolled his eyes again.
"Yes. That's how it works."
"Oh. Does she go to school with you?"
"No. I've never met her. I don't know what school she goes to."
"You don't? Well, how do you know her? What's her last name?"
"I don't know. We didn't actually talk. All I know is I have to come back next Friday night to see her again. And I have to bring her a present."
"What?! You don't need to bring her a present!"
"Yes, I do. It's our one week anniversary. I need to get her something special."
At that point, I must admit to being impressed. I've no idea how a girl could be so powerful, but I couldn't convince him that he didn't need to get her a gift. He wanted to buy her a piece of jewelry, but thankfully he listened to reason and we discussed something inexpensive... just in case he was somehow mistaken.
The next day we took a walk on the beach and he found a shell with a hole so he could make a necklace. He didn't think it was special enough, so when we got home he painstakingly colored it. Then he selected a ribbon. That wasn't special enough, so he found a fancy box (swiped actually from his sister's room) and packaged it nicely.
Then he hid it under the couch and made me promise that I wouldn't tell his dad. I didn't because I love to be the keeper of sweet secrets:)
When Friday rolled around, he collected the box and we discussed how he'd react if she rejected his gift. "No biggie," He assured me. I admit, even though it was just a shell, I prayed she wouldn't crush his spirit. He walked nervously into the studio with his hand on his bulging pocket and a shine in his eyes.
When I picked him up, he didn't even give me a hint about what happened, so I finally asked.
"So, did she like it?"
"Oh yeah, she loved it. She put it on right away."
"Really? She wasn't upset that it was just a shell? What did she say when you gave it to her?"
"She said, 'It's the passion that counts!'"
I am in big trouble.
"We love because he first loved us." 1 John 4:19