Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sweet Carolina

Graham is in love.

Graham is in love with a much older "woman" who every evening rules the playground just steps from our new front door. Her name is Carolina and I'd guess she's about 13 years old.

Carolina is tall and beautiful with long, dark hair. She travels with a fawning entourage of younger girls who are noticeably less confident than she and quick to conform when she rolls her lovely eyes and tells them they're being "so immature!"

Graham noticed Carolina the very first time we visited the playground and he's remained in her thrall ever since.

"There she is Mommy! There's the girl! I'm gonna go play with her!" he shouts gleefully. Ever the picture of blissful optimism, he generally runs headlong in her direction only to be summarily dismissed.

"I think she's a little old for you to play with Graham," I cautioned him a few nights ago, after she once again rebuffed his enthusiastic invitation to join him on the slide with a giggle and a bemused pat on the head.

"But she has pretty long hair, Mommy," Graham countered. "I have to play with her. I JUST have to."

And so he tried - all night that night and all night again tonight when, upon arrival at the playground Graham pushed his way into her gaggle of pre-teen admirers and announced, "Hi there! You might remember me from last week at the playground."

I don't believe Carolina did.

No, she just smiled weakly and turned back to the task at hand: impressing her friends with her brand new cell phone.

Graham was undeterred and determinedly stepped into the circle again.

"Well, gee, that phone sure looks like it's got everything except the kitchen sink!"

Yes, he actually said that.

And this time he actually got some genuine laughs and oohs and ahhs from the girls before they moved on.

I can hardly bear to watch the way Graham puts himself out there these days, the way he cheerfully wears his tender heart on chubby sleeve.

I just watch with a strange mixture of apprehension and admiration, scarcely believing this is the same boy who only a year ago inspired me to worrying about his extreme shyness.

And it's funny; while I am thrilled that Graham seems to have well and truly outgrown his shyness, I never imagined that his new-found fearlessness would somehow terrify me in a way that his introversion never did.

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24 comments:

Teena in Toronto said...

How cute is that?!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I would say this bodes very well for his future.

The neighbor boy follows my daughter around like a puppy. When he was 2 he nicknamed her "Kiki" (how cute is that?). We can't pull into the driveway without him running over to see if Kiki can play. Sadly, now that she's 15, she really doesn't want to play as often as she used to.

Reluctant Housewife said...

He's adorable.

It's hard to stand back and let the kids interact. There's one cool kid who Monkey wants so much to play with, who is often quite mean to him but never really mean, either. I don't know. I think I tend to over-react. I have a hard time holding back.

flutter said...

you have just killed me with the sweet

Michelle said...

::sigh::
What a cutie.
Never fear... there will be many who will, I'm sure, return his affection at Peanut's party. ;)

JCK said...

He's going to be a social wunderkind! :) What a cutie. Too funny about the kitchen sink.

You can see how early it starts with boys getting pummeled by girls' rejections...

fireweedroots said...

... I can fully appreciate that you're more worried about possible rejection than you were about him being shy and standing on the side...
The kitchen sink-comment was cute, though!

a kelly said...

Young love...*sigh*...
It was just about that age that my daughter informed me that her young friend, Rino, had asked her to marry her. She would tell anyone who would listen that Rino was taking her to Florida after the wedding, that she would wear his mother's wedding gown and they were getting married in the garden center at Beaver Lumber...because she liked all the flowers. They were 4 years old. Seriously.
Funny thing is I started babysitting Rino and it all fell apart...the romance, not the friendship. We parents figured once they were "living together" reality set in! They are 25 years old now and still friends.
Go Graham!

Chantal said...

OMG that is soooo adorable!

Brittany said...

that really is the sweetest thing I've ever read! What a sweet boy! SO sweet. :) Did you tell him how girls break hearts? And how they're not worth it?? Until he's 30!? ;) tee hee!

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

You're his mama. You will worry no matter what he does or says or how he is. It's in our nature. Don't fight it (don't let it take over your life, either, but don't fight it!)

I love that he keeps on trying. It's a fabulous trait to be that determined.

kbreints said...

oh my goodness what a doll!! I can remember having crushes at his age, but cannot imagine my boys are even close to that.

Leanne said...

So sweet. And yep, my older two shyer children cause me less emotional heart ache then my youngest extremley out-going 'wild child'. I love them all...and worry.

Amber said...

I went through the same thing. I wished and worried because my kid was 'too shy'. Then she came out of her shell and hasn't stopped talking since. And it brought a whole other level of worry. There's no winning this parenting game, I'm pretty sure. There's always something to worry about.

Pregnantly Plump said...

It's always about the hair, isn't it? I love the kitchen sink comment! And I think it's great that he isn't taking no for an answer. Maybe someday soon he'll convince her to go down the slide with him.

Elaine A. said...

I'm dying over her about the comment about the kitchen sink! He's too much! And definitely not shy around the girls - WOW!

CaraBee said...

How cute is that! It's a double edged sword, you want him to be friendly and outgoing but you don't want him to be hurt or rejected.

Heather said...

That's quite a pick-up line he's got.

melissa said...

i love that story!! love it!
xo
melissa

Zip n Tizzy said...

He's a guy with Moxie.
I don't think you need to worry about him!

for a different kind of girl said...

Graham sounds like a boy who is going to grow up into a confidant young man, and I kind of want to hire him as a consultant to help me learn confidance when approaching people I don't know!

mep said...

How I know how you feel. My heart comes close to breaking all the time as my son bounds around the playground, introducing himself and trying to insert himself in various games and circles.

His line about the cell phone cracked me up.

Karen MEG said...

I love reading about how Graham is coming out of his shell...so adorably at that.

He'll win her over, I have no doubt about that whatsoever!

caramama said...

That's what I worry about too, especially with my very outgooing and heart-on-her-sleeve girl starting pre-school on Monday. I think the shyness can be easier in many ways. But either way, I'm just finding it awesome and scary to watch them grow up and go out into the world. If only we could somehow always protect them from getting their hearts stepped on.