A group of moms stood together in the biting cold that blows down from the mountain range and stops dead when it hits the elementary school at the top of the hill. The boys ran and screamed and tagged each other and my boy brought me a handful of junk and told me to hold the orbs he found on the playground. "I'm sorry, the what?" I asked, staring at part of an old eraser, a green bead, and a small bit of twine.
"My orbs," he yelled over his shoulder. I shoved them in pocket, pretending to understand.
"Mine calls them orbs, too. He's always bringing home junk," another mom says.
Soon, their teacher approaches. "I have to tell you a funny story," she's looking at Grayson's mom but addressing us all. "Today, Grayson and Ashlynn decided to be boyfriend and girlfriend."
"Oh no!" Grayson's mom laughs uncomfortably.
"I'm so glad you said Grayson and not Garrett," I smile, relieved.
"He was so excited," she continued, "he couldn't stand still in line. He said, 'I can't stand still, I'm filled with loooove." Three moms and a teacher dissolved into nearly uncontrollable laughter.
The next morning, I retell the story to my husband. Garrett overhears.
"That's soooo weird!" he says. "It must be going around because yesterday, on the playground, Katherine blew me a kiss!"
I lock eyes with my husband, "What did you do?" I ask my son.
"Do you like Katherine?"
"Mom, I am way too young to have a girlfriend," he answers. There is a pause and then he asks, "What do I do if she wants me to be her girlfriend?"
"Well," I answer, "you can tell her that you're too young to have a girlfriend but that you guys can be good friends and play together on the playground."
"Okay," he replies, satisfied with the answer.
"Or, you can tell her that your mom says you can't have a girlfriend until you're 26."
He smiles, "That's a good idea. How many years until I'm 26?"
"Twenty," I say.
"Okay. Perfect," he turns on his heels and walks out the door.