Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Love and Marriage

I noticed one of Ethan's friends looked especially dressed up for preschool not long ago.

"Oh yeah," said his mom. "He said he wanted to dress up today. I think he wants to impress someone."

Are school crushes beginning already? About that time, we noticed Ethan talking about one of the girls in his class. Would I call it a crush? I don't think so. But one time we were pretending with little people that one of them was a different girl from his class, and Ethan corrected me and made sure the toy was "E." Last week I noticed E. at a town event as she marched right up to Ethan and eagerly introduced him to several of her friends.

"Ethan's got a girlfriend!" Anna will sometimes shout at the dinner table. "Do you want to marry her?"

Ethan stares at her blankly at this question. I didn't think he'd ever paid much attention to the concept of marriage at all, until one day recently when he asked if a wedding picture of me and Dan was when we got married. I told him yes, and he asked "Why?" He asks why often about questions that don't really warrant why answers. I'm thinking it's his way of trying to glean more information, to dig deeper and try to understand things that are over his head.

Tucking Ethan into bed the other night, he announced after prayers that he wanted to hug and kiss me. As I reached down, he headed for my mouth, and I turned my face so he would get my cheek. We've talked about this before.

"I want to kiss your mouth," he said matter-of-factly. I never quite know how to really communicate about this stuff.

"You can kiss us from your family on the cheek," I said.

"Charlie's sister kissed me on the mouth!" That would be the four-year-old sibling of one of his playgroup friends at Kidspace.

"She didn't know any better," I told him warily. "Her mom told her not to when she saw her."

"When can I kiss you on the mouth?" he asked, truly bewildered.

"Kissing on the mouth is kind of for grown-ups," I replied gingerly. "Like when you grow up and really love somebody and get married."

"I will marry you when I grow up," he announced.

"You can't buddy," I said, trying to let him down lightly. "Little boys can't marry their moms."

Ethan grew quiet. In a second I made a foolish attempt to see into Ethan's future. What would be there, in terms of love and marriage? I've learned now that there is just no way of knowing. Looking ahead that far is like straining to see in a thick fog.

"Okay." Ethan pulled up the covers. "You can leave my room now." Spoken in typical Ethan fashion.

I kissed him again on the forehead, and left him to his impending dreams.

1 comment:

truthinlove said...

I think it is sweet that Ethan wants to marry you when he grows up! That is very normal. My boys have said things like that and it makes me feel super special. It's hard for them to understand the marriage concept at this point. Great post!