Friday, June 20, 2008

Visions of a Future Teenager

Today we spent the morning hanging out at Olympic Beach in Edmonds.  It was the first warm and sunny day in a few weeks.  The tide was heading out and there were a few folks down in the low tide zone.  I got to relax while the kids entertained themselves.

At one point, a cute little girl about Gabriel's age arrived with her grandpa.  Gabriel wanted to say hi and make a new friend to play with, but he was feeling very shy.  I tried to encourage him to just go up and say "Hi!" and that it would get easier after that.  He is normally so good at making friends.  But he just couldn't come up with the courage to say anything.  So he developed a plan: he'd do something interesting in the hopes that she would come up and say hi to him.

Gabriel then climbed up the steps and began jumping down to the sand right next to the girl.  He did this over and over, trying to entice her with his daring.  Oh, she was paying attention, but was a pro already at studiously ignoring him while watching from the corner of her eye.  I called him back to me and tried to explain that sometimes women appreciate it when the man takes the initiative.  He still didn't get it, but thought it would maybe work if he got Annika to say hi instead.  So he pushed his little sister in front of him over to the girl, and tried to get her to talk to the girl.  Finally, the girl must have gotten impatient, because she made the first move and the kids at last began playing together.

I just thought it was so funny watching this all unfold.  Here was a little boy who already had the idea that showing off was the way to a friendship with a girl.  He tried so hard to impress her, and she finally had to be the one to say hello.  It gave me a glimpse of what we have ahead of us in the preteen and teenage years.  Hopefully these events will not occur very often until much later in Gabriel's childhood!

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