Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cute Boys and Crushes

First, a few pics of the cute boys in my life. Above is a profile of John on a Mother's Day card he gave me (obviously the preschool teacher cut out the profile--not John. I'm pretty sure I'm not that good with scissors.) I realized as we were walking to preschool that day that I hadn't bothered to brush John's hair that morning. Actually, I think it is a rare day when I do brush John's hair.

Another picture of John. Sometimes he likes to play with his helmet on--which considering his activities--is a wise idea. On this day he was lugging a large branch around the yard. He told me, "A guy with a helmet gets things done."

Here is Will. He keeps pretty busy moving trucks and digging in the dirt.

I'm fairly sure I have not adequately described how wonderful Will is. He is so easygoing and happy, he often can fade into the woodwork. He does however have a charming method of making sure we remember him. He frequently gives sneak attack hugs.

Now on to the Crushes. One of Lizzy's major complaints about this blog is that it is called Dinner with the Mitchells and it is rarely about dinner. (This is her number one excuse for not blogging. My response is: then blog about dinner.) Anyhow she will be greatly relieved that I am going to report here an actual Mitchell family dinner conversation which I thought was mildly amusing and worth opening up to the greater public.

We were talking about crushes. Lizzy was telling us the code names for her three crushes. I'm afraid I only remember two: Lollipop and Rapunzel. But it doesn't matter what the third is because he is no longer an official crush. According to Lizzy he has lost his allure because he parts his hair differently. Now for those of you who know Lizzy, this whole entry may come as a shock. Zoey has a new crush a minute you know but Lizzy? Well Lizzy has always been too dignified for crushes and besides where would she find a boy good enough. But alas this fall she will be starting middle school and she is now pining for a boy named Rapunzel. You will be comforted to know that she doesn't take any of this too seriously. She was the one who suggested I share the code names on this blog. Lizzy can be silly, but she can't be silly without laughing at herself.

Anyhow Bill was surprised by the code names. He said he never gave his crushes code names and he would be shocked if any boys did. For one thing he said boys don't talk about their crushes--except with some girls who pointedly ask. I said that I thought it quite common for girls to give their crushes code names. To back this up I cited my own experience, an entry on Aunt Collette's blog and a book the girls and I had recently read in which the heroine referred to her crush as The Boy. This was a revelation to Bill as was the idea that girls often have crushes on boys they don't really want to spend time with. Of Lizzy's three crushes, she says she would only like to spend time with Lollipop. This too surprised Bill he said he always had crushes on girls he actually liked.

I said it's different for girls. Crushes are not so much about who you like but about who you want to talk about. Starting in Jr. High crushes are the currency of female conversation in the same way boys talk about sports. A socially savvy girl catches on fast that easiest form of small talk with girls that you have nothing in common with or don't really know well is crushes. The question, "Who do you like?" in Jr. High is as ubiquitous as "What's your major?" in college. I'm not certain what the currency of conversation is for women my age. I'd assume it would be talking about work or children which leads to my theory--a bit of a stretch I admit--that girls crushes are not a precursor for romance and marriage but for children. They are the beginning of motherly love and this is why girls name their crushes. This would also explain why some don't like spending time with their crushes--just talking about them. I'd venture to say that most girls and women, don't give code names to the boys who become their husbands.

Sometimes, I wish it was as socially acceptable to brag about your husband as it is to brag about your children. But it really isn't, so I'll just end with this picture. It's a bit dark and maybe out of focus but it says quite a bit about what I see in Bill. --Ruth

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Gina said...

That profile is so beautiful!

Lettie said...

I love the Mother's Day card. What a great thing to have and it's very cute too.
I love Lizzy having silly crushes. I remember having them as early as 6th grade. They were quite an important thing in my school days. Bill's comments on crushes make the things Nate says make more sense. I had SO MANY crushes. There were only a few of them I would actually have wanted to date and even fewer that I ever did. Most of the time I think it was to help pass the day by. If so and so looked at you in the hall then you would have a great day. So silly now, but I loved it back then. I look forward to hearing how the crushes shift.

Brandan & Becky said...

Oh Ruthie, I'm so glad I read your blog today. I'm feeling particularly smitten with my own family today and I love to read about your charming children. It makes my happiness multiply.

kim & co. said...

I think that picture is better than bragging anyway--it does make Bill look like the perfect dad/husband. I love it when I can catch those moments with my own family--I know some people think that blogs show idealized versions of families--but honestly, we all know what the day to day can be like. I personally like trying to capture some of those more enchanting times so I can focus on those and make our days a little happier rather than dwelling on everything else.

And I love the profile of John--that is gorgeous. I think its good that you didn't comb his hair because it came out great! (maybe I think this because I also don't comb my kids' hair as much as I could.)

Emily Murdock said...

What a special picture. I've always thought Bill was a great husband and father, but mostly because he has such an awesome wife ;)
I miss you, Ruth. I wish you were here in Dallas with me, still my visiting teacher and still here to bless me with your perspective on things mundane and not-so-mundane.
I remember the first boy I was "going together" with (not a gramatically correct sentence, I know...) I knew we were "going together" because he gave me a head nod every time he saw me in the hallway.
Oh, to have those butterflies again. It's priceless!

Valerie said...

I didn't know anyone else did this, but in junior high, my friends and I had elaborate code names for our crushes all named after Greek Gods.
I love your theory about crushes and mothering. I actually feel pretty giddy about my two little crushes at home.

Melissa and Eric said...

The thing that struck me when reading this post was how great it is that you and your girls are so close. I think it's wonderful that you know anything at all about your daughters' crushes. I think I was much too private to even admit to my parents that I had crushes. Seeing that picture of Bill with your boys put a smile on my face. You two really are such great parents. I hope you know that I have modeled some of my own parenting after the way I saw you two interacting with your kids. Thanks for being great examples!

Sam said...

I agree with Bill. Boys don't invent code names. I only gave actual names to my closest friend. When talking in mixed company, I would merely leave the name out, and everyone understood that there was some girl I did not want to mention.