Ack! I have no idea how to respond.
Kristin Bailey Murphy: I'm sure you more seasoned parents out there have gone through this, but for me it's a first: My 9-year-old daughter has a crush. And to be honest, it's on a boy I wouldn't have chosen for her. I know, I know: What boy could ever live up to a parent's expectations for her daughter? But this kid -- prepare yourself, now -- has green hair. GREEN HAIR. I can't believe my daughter's school would allow a student to have hair this color, but it does, and my daughter apparently thinks it's cool. Am I being snooty? Or just worried my daughter's not more like me?
My first crush, aside from having the unfortunate name "Jimbo," was the bee's knees. He had a blond bowl cut, blue eyes and a singular snaggletooth that he disliked -- but I loved. He also wore Polo button-downs and Docksiders, and killed it on a pair of roller skates. I had feelings for this kid, and the fact that he thought I was a dork didn't make him any less dreamy. So forgive me if I don't get how a child of mine is crushing on someone so ... out there.
My husband thinks I'm being unfair and, as usual, overreacting. But if experience has taught me anything, it's that some stereotypes exist for a reason. (Google "Sid Vicious" and "mugshot" and you'll understand.) I see my husband's point, though, and to be fair, this kid does have other qualities I would have liked at that age: He can draw, he's a fast runner and he's read all the Harry Potter books twice.
Rationally I know that just because my daughter shares my DNA, that doesn't mean she's not her own person -- and it's her quirky side that makes her so incredible. But on an emotional level, I worry about her getting mixed up with the wrong people.
Of course, my husband says I'm worrying for nothing. He reminded me that one, it's only a crush, not a boyfriend; and two, had I forgotten? He used to have green hair, too.
|Kristin Bailey Murphy is a writer and photographer who lives in Southern California with her surfer husband and three children. She is an accidental stay-at-home mom who's addicted to books, hiking and Target.|