I have a confession to make. I’m terrible with quotes. I can remember a phrase, even an entire sentence but I cannot for the life of me remember where I read them or heard them. Also, I usually remember them inaccurately. Anyway, the reason I mention this is because I want to quote someone who said that children are the only way we can achieve eternal life and I can’t remember who it was. I’m not googling it, on general principles.
So, children are the our way to live forever. It’s a lovely statement and I’ve just found out how true it is. It’s not about the shape or color of the eyes, or the right ear that sticks out a little in my daughter just as mine does. It’s not even about likes and dislikes whose only explanation could be genetic (crazy about stones, the stars, butterflies, beetles, and caterpillars). It’s about that moment when you start seeing your child doing the same things you have done. The wheel turns, basically, and it’s fascinating to watch because you’re not the one turning with it, not with this wheel. You’ve passed that wheel.
She’s seven and she’s in love. Besides this being so flipping cute I did for a moment change states to a liquid, it’s also totally fascinating. It brings back memories, for one, and it brings some sadness because, well, I could never be in love with anyone in the same way I was in love with Atreyu from The Neverending Story (the movie). Plus, it’s very interesting to watch someone other than you but who you really, really care about fall in love.
Now, I remember my mother telling me my first crush was a Little Lord Fauntleroy-type boy named Arthur but I must have been way too young to remember this one. The first I remember was Atreyu. I’d say that crush pretty much set the type of men I still find most attractive even though Noah Hathaway himself no longer fits this type. We grow and change, alas.
I can’t help but wonder if the little one’s crush is type-defining too, in which case we have a major problem. You see, her choice of a first crush was Space Range Roger. He–and I quote–has a lovely smile, which makes her feel a bit embarrassed, and he’s good and he helps kids. But, and it is a huge but, SR Roger is a robot. Will she, I want to know, grow out of this attraction to robots or is she setting herself standards no human will ever be able to live up to? Can you live with such standards?
What’s worse, I wonder, sitting here, staring in the future, crushing on Prince Charming (no chance of this happening in our household now, she’s too old) or crushing on an animated robot. I’m sure you understand the issue is extremely dramatic, the most dramatic part being I can’t do anything about it.
The horror. The helplessness. The taste of what’s to come in ten years, which already gives me nightmares about spotty but arrogant boys with motorbikes or needy, soft-handed mummy’s princes who want to turn my precious into their lifelong servant. Shut up, Irina.
Okay, parenting can be hell as well as paradise and nowhere are the two entangled more tightly and impossible to untangle as when love rears its questionably attractive head for the first time in your precious’ life. Luckily for me and for her, I have very clear memories of all my crushes and infatuations from Atreyu onwards, including celebrity ones. So, I’m being helpful.
I have welcomed SR Roger into my house, with his dog, no less, and this was supposed to be a dog-free house for cat reasons. It was supposed to remain a dog-free house even after the last cat reason passed away. We’re still grieving. But that’s LOVE, so you can’t argue. I have pretended to the best of my modest abilities that I can see him fly–the ranger not the dog–around the living room. I have also let her watch as many episodes of the show as she wants because I simply can’t say no.
Not when I watch the finale of Sherlock’s third season time and time again only for the pleasure of seeing Lars Mikkelsen as the perfect villain (and also the perfect male human specimen, and yes, I realize he doesn’t fit the type). The number of times I’ve watched the earlier seasons of The Walking Dead not just because of the zombies but, well, because of Norman Reedus, is embarrassing, not to mention some of the movies I watched because of him. And Twilight… Shut up, Irina.
I’m sure Space Ranger Roger is the first of many and the thought fills me with dread and excitement. Excitement because falling in love is fun (and loads of drama but also fun). Dread because what if someone breaks her heart (which someone will)?
But the good news is that I’ve outgrown my type and if I could, so could she. Seven-year-old boys will have a chance, when they grow up, to be tortured by two evil parents who will not let anyone near their precious girl before making him just through hoops. Many hoops. All on fire. Oh, I’m joking, I’m going to be great with everyone. I think. Oh, well, time will show.