The doll approached me nonchalantly and said, “Hey mom, there’s a dance Friday at St. Mary’s….can I go?” “Are any of your classmates going?” I asked. “Yes…Amy and Emily will be there…” She replied. “Hmm…call around to some other girls and see if they are going too? Perhaps we could carpool…” I suggested. A short time later she replied, “Twin is grounded…but Nanci wanted to know if she came here after volleyball practice; could we take her with us and then her mom would bring me home later?” I didn’t have to think long on that prospect. “Yeah, sure that’ll work…” I replied.
The doll and her friends arrived shortly after volleyball practice, disappearing into her bedroom to get ready. Earlier in the day another Mother called and asked if we had room for one more. “Sure, the more the merrier” I replied. I was surprised how much time the girls wasted getting ready. I mean they weren’t overly dressed–just nice shirts and shorts. My doll, expertly wore her newly acquired Paramore concert T-shirt, tied at the bottom with a matching pair of black jean shorts. “Nice shirt…” I commented and was given a barely contained smile in return. “Doll is taking way too long…” Nanci said when they announced they were ready to go. “I can’t help it…you didn’t do a very good job applying my eye shadow…” the doll replied with a laugh. “Eye shadow?” I said. “Yeah mom, what’s the big dip?” “Uh…” I looked at all three girls with makeup duly applied, but said nothing. “It’s not my fault you’re too tall.” Nanci replied as we exited he house. “Doll where are your shoes?” I asked as we walked toward the car…” “Oh yeah, I was going to wear flip flops but decided I better not. I’ll be right back” She informed and then disappeared back into the house. “Hurry up!! Emily just texted me that they are playing really good music and we’re missing it!!” Nelly, the other girl yelled.
The ride to the dance is a fairly short one, usually a ten minute ride at most. I drove a few miles less than the speed limit and pretended to not pay attention to what the girls were talking about…namely boys.
“That was so funny at school today with what happened to Brock…” One of the girls said. “Oh yeah…” the other two giggled, yet didn’t elaborate for me what happened. “How many boys do you have in your class this year…six?” I asked. Last year at the end of the school year, five families chose to leave and send their boys to technical school this term. “No, we have some new boys…” “Are any of them cute?” I asked with a smile. “Mother!!” The doll replied in a mock shocked tone. The other two girls said, “Kinda”. Then the doll, who was riding shotgun said, “What if I get kissed by a boy tonight?” Before the thought was completely out of her mouth, Nelly and Nancy echoed the question, amid a myriad of giggles
I’m not sure if she wanted to see if my reaction resulted in us getting into a car accident or if I would be nonplussed. The other girls giggled at the prospect that one of them might get kissed (tonight).
“Hey, hey… You trying to get us all killed?” I asked with a laugh. The girls giggled in reply. “Mom…” the doll leaned close and asked, “How old were you when you first kissed a boy…?”
A year or so ago the doll asked me that same question and I told her the truth before I realized she was on the cusp of being that very same age. As the question hung between us, I briefly wished I could jump back in time and tell David Gensbechler that at twelve, I was much to young to be kissed. Even if at the time that wasn’t true.
“Doll, you already asked and I answered that question some time ago. I don’t feel the need to rehash that conversation now” I replied, unwilling to let the girls in on my past boy kissing life”. “C’mon mom….tell us…” The doll coaxed. “Hey look…we’re here…” I said, never so happy to see the school auditorium. “Be good and have fun…” I called to the girls as they exited the car. The doll lingered long enough to say, “We will, thanks Mom” and then boom…she was off catching up with her friends, entering the dance in search of a mystery.
I drove home shaking my head most of the way.
The next day as she and I walked to church I asked, “So hey…did you kiss any boys?” The doll’s answer was quick and short…”No, Thank God!”
Thank God indeed.