There is nothing like girls to show a mom of sons the incredible differences in each boy. One son probably went out with a girl while he was in the hospital nursery. One did not date until the end of high school. It is all about those internal soul differences. One thinks girls are like “Candy Bars” and just cannot pick his favorite. Another goes the friendship route. One married his best friend.
You can imagine our amusement when our 3rd grader went to the “Candy Bar” brother for girl advice. A 4th grade girl told my son she liked him.
“Go up, stick out your hand and introduce yourself, say, ‘Hi I”m _____ ______,” he advised, telling him to be sure to include his last name.
If I could raise my eyebrow like my 3rd son, it would have arched beautifully. “You gave such good (thinking tame) advice?” I asked amazed. I hazard to think what I would have guessed.
“I’m great at giving advice, Mom. I’m just not as good at living it,” he conceded.
Then, the Joyful one entered into the conversation – the one who is friendship-oriented but comes up with the greatest lines,” No! No! No! You should have come to me. That’s terrible advice.”
Then he commenced to throw out a few lines he likes:
“If you had a pet parrot,” he asked, “Would you want it on this should (pointing to the closer shoulder) or this shoulder (reaching around to touch the farthest shoulder, his arm ending up around her)?”
“No! No! No PDA (Public Display of Affection),” I countered, the mom who never heard about PDA until the second son. Just what I need – my 3rd grader being sent to the office for PDA infraction and it placed on his, gasp, Permanent Record (which my older sons’ lived in fear of for years – like it would follow you to the Pearly Gates for Judgement Day)
“Are you from Tennessee because you’re the only 10 I see,” was another one he so generously provided.
The boys finally settled on, “Do you have a band-aid? ‘Cause I just scraped my knee falling for you.”
After practicing with him for a while, they abandoned the smooth pick-up lines and encouraged winking.
“Wink,” they ordered.
His eye-lids fluttered – like a gnat had flown into it, his mouth twitching, his nose scrunching.
“No! No! No! – Only close one eye,” his brothers coached.
Bless his pea-picking heart, but if he had to produce a fetching wink to survive an on-slaught of rabid beavers, he’d be heaven-bound right now! I’ve never seen anything like it in my life
His brothers coached, trying different techniques – mixed in with lots of good-natured laughter all around.
Finally, the joyful one, the one with the nice lines said, “Not everybody can whistle; Not everybody can wink.”
And it was o.k. not being able to wink. Because not everybody has to be able to do everything. Everybody’s gifts are different – not everybody is created equal. And somehow in all that coaching, conversation, and cajolery, everybody valued each brother’s differences and had a great time with those differences.
Update: The little 4th grade girl gave my sons a gift: a ruler. “It freaked me out, mom,” he told me. “So I gave it to my friend.”
“Not everybody can whistle; not everybody can wink;” not every moment is so perfect in the brotherhood.