Couldn’t believe what she was telling me, but I could believe it at the same time. My mind was swirling. Couldn’t believe it because of his age: two and a half. But could believe it because I had seen the signs for some time now.
Holden has a ‘girlfriend’. His teacher told me. He holds her hand in school… the school he’s been at for the past few weeks. Follows her around, plays toys with her. Smiles when the teacher calls her name. He’s next to her most of the day. Mama’s first heartbreak.
My boy just loves the girls. Already?
Though he seems rather young for one to take a love interest, Holden’s fascination with the opposite sex began long before now. I believe this is attributed to the fact that he is and has been surrounded by women. No really, all the time. Loud, bright, entertaining women at that.
Re-visit this picture every day for the past 2 and a half years. And you get Holden’s life. Women are, for the majority, all he knows (aside from baseball). Being around ‘us’ is what feels like home to him, where he’s comfortable. When he’s not with me, he asks for me non-stop. And when he’s not with my mom, he asks for “Ooh-ah” (Lula) non-stop.
Kids model, that’s what they do. He loves to play with makeup, push his mini-shopping cart with a baby in the seat. He likes to do many things which are, generally, described as female-oriented behaviors. All because he sees me do these things, but I’ll blame Lula for his lipgloss infatuation.
Somewhere along those lines of comfort, he took to fascination, flirtation. Decided that girls are, in fact, what he likes.
Just look at his face. Sheer happiness, undeniably. And those googley eyes he’s giving. Lord help me.
I stand there listening to his teacher go on. The sound of her voice fades as my mind fast forwards fifteen years. Imagining his first girlfriend, maybe his first broken heart. I won’t be able to protect him, build that invisible shield I keep around him daily. Experiences I know will make him better, happier in the long run. But he won’t know this. Not in that moment. He will take it hard, feel a new kind of pain. Something mommy probably can’t make better with a popsicle or a bag of cheese-its and an Elmo movie.
As for now, I’m happy with him perusing through my makeup drawer and trying on my shoes. I can keep that all he knows right now. Pull that invisible shield back up.
So… it’s no surprise that he has found himself a little comfort in taking to another girl while he’s at school. A sense of home, what he’s used to. Where he can be happy. Where he can do what he knows how to do. Show affection, feel affection.
What also didn’t surprise me when I picked him up that day, was that he was pushing a stroller and wearing a purse on his arm.
Holden and his best buddy, Cayden, both 2 at the time. Enjoying their two favorite things: baseball games and girls.