They say girls are more sensitive. I’m not so sure.
Scene: I am driving my son, Harrison, and three of his friends back to our house for cake and presents after seeing “Rise of the Guardians” for his 9th birthday. The gifts are piled up on their laps, and one of the two girls in the car takes out a homemade card someone made for him.
On it is a picture of Harrison, the girl who made the card and another boy. The friends on the card are not in the car.
The girl who took out the card wonders aloud why the third boy is in the picture, to which I innocently ask, “Is that her boyfriend?”
It sounds like a cross between a coffee hour and a crowded subway in my Subaru as everyone chimes in on the suggestion.
Everyone except for one boy.
When he begins to speak, the car goes quiet.
“I am available .?.?. unattached,” he says. “I’d like to meet someone, but I haven’t met the right person yet.”
The girls roll their eyes and giggle, one raising her hand to her mouth. The boy looks pleased with himself, and Harrison now decides it’s his turn.
“I’m available, too,” he announces. “But I have deep, very deep feelings about it.”
As Harrison sits and waits for a reaction, the split-second of silence that followed turns to clamorous laughter.
He holds his own, seemingly at peace with what he has had to say, and I am glad. Older, wiser me knows he’ll have to be tough when he opens that tender heart to the girl who steals it.