“Do you think he will be there?” one of my daughter’s friends asks her.
“I don’t know, but maybe,” my daughter, Katy, answers to many giggles.
(I am driving 7 girls to the mall as part of Katy’s birthday party and it always amazes me the kids don’t realize that we drivers are listening to their conversations.)
“Well, do you like him?”
“I don’t know, maybe.”
“Should we text him?”
“I don’t know, maybe.”
The conversation swirls around boys and an escalating amount of giggles. As 6th grade nears its end, the girls are becoming much more interested in the boys and the conversations are now filtered with this boy this and that boy that.
I am calm, however, as I remember a situation Katy and I lived a few years ago that has become a featured reference in our lives.
We are skiing and Greg and Nick are off racing as usual. Katy and I are in line for a four-person chairlift as I notice a few high school girls in front of us. I observe them checking out the high school boys next to us and know they are part of the same group. The girls are definitely interested in the boys as they talk and giggle to each other with effusive gestures and much hair flipping.
The girls hop onto the chairlift in front of us and we get onto one with the boys.
Katy and I are enjoying the scenery as I listen to the boys conversation.
“Oh man I ate so much at breakfast,” one of the boys says to the other.
“I know. I had the blueberry pancakes. They were great,” the other answers.
“I ate so many. I am going to burst.”
“The orange juice was great too. I wish I had some now.”
“I had so much maple syrup.”
“The pancakes were so fluffy.”
This conversation continues the entire way up the mountain.
As I listen to the boys, I observe the girls in front of us. They are animated and coyly looking back to see if the boys are watching.
Now, I giggle. Well, actually chuckle. This is hilarious.
Katy looks at me to tell her why I am laughing and I shake my head to let her know I will tell her later.
The chairlift reaches the top and we all disembark to go our respective ways. We ski to the side of the trail and Katy motions for me to stop.
“Mom, tell me why you are laughing,” Katy insists.
I chuckle. I just cannot help it as I explain the situation to Katy.
“Did you see those girls in front of us?”
“The pretty ones in the purple, aqua and black jackets?”
“Yes, they are with the boys on our chairlift. Did you notice the girls looking back at us?”
“I did. Why did they do that?”
“The girls know the boys and are interested in them. The girls are talking, laughing and wondering whether the boys are thinking and talking about them.”
“But the boys were talking about breakfast. The whole time!” Katy giggles.
“Yes, they were – the entire time. When you grow up and get interested in boys, remember this. When you are wondering if the boys are thinking and talking about you, know they are not. They are talking about something that just happened or they are thinking about this moment – right now. They are not talking about you and they are not thinking about you unless you are with them. Boys talk and think about things that are happening right in front of them. They don’t usually wonder about girls the same way girls wonder about them. If you are wondering if a boy you are interested in is talking about you with his friends, remember this: he is probably talking about blueberry pancakes.”
Katy giggles again and shakes her head as she skis down the mountain. She is eight at this point and has no interest in boys.
Now, however, whenever the girls start talking about boys. Katy and I look at each other and know. The boys are not thinking and talking about them. They are probably talking about something mundane. They are probably talking about breakfast.
So now we look at each other and nod.
At the same time, we mouth “Blueberry pancakes.”