Overheard in the Loser Cruiser this afternoon, while driving home from school:
Child Number One: (out-of-the-blue) How old is Hannah?
My eldest child was referring to the amazing teenager who flew in from British Columbia to spend nearly three weeks with us this past summer. She is not only a Mother’s Helper Extraordinaire, and my Mostly Companion every August, but she is also Child Number One’s idol.
Me: Hannah is sixteen. Why do you ask?
Child Number One: Is Hannah allowed to date yet?
Me: I don’t think so… I think that she and her friends go out together in a big group.
Child Number One: When will she be allowed to date?
Me: (wondering where on EARTH this conversation with my eleven-year-old is going) Oh, I really don’t know. Any boy who wanted to go out on a date with Hannah would have to be able to get past Hannah’s dad and his great, big shotgun, first…
Child Number One: Ha, ha. (Innocently…) Mum, when will I be allowed to date??
Me: (absolutely flummoxed… I pause to think for a moment before answering… cautiously…) Is there a boy in school that you are interested in dating?
Child Number One: (suddenly embarrassed) Noooo!!! Eeewww!! I just think... I’m growing up too fast, that’s all…
Me: (thankfully, able to breathe again) You have NO idea how glad I am to hear that… How about we say that you will officially be allowed to date when you turn sixty-nine?
Child Number One: (laughing nervously) Why sixty-nine??
Me: (stopping at a stop sign and resting my forehead on the steering wheel in front of me) Because, all the tough, stubborn little Scottish women in my family live to be about ninety-five, and since I’m twenty-six years older than you, I’m pretty sure I’ll be at LEAST unconscious by then…