Garrett has never liked girls. Or he's always liked them. Something like that. He's always had girl friends but he's never had a girlfriend. This year he is finally admitting that he thinks certain girls are cute but he makes sure to insist that they are JUST FRIENDS.
Not Matthew. Matthew is a like a little, innocent Casanova. He's had a few crushes. He is always asking me how old he has to be to get married. He mercilessly teases his brother about liking girls.
They are the exact opposite.
Recently, Matthew and a girl from our church who we'll call Manhattan (because I feel like she needs a pseudonym, I really like New York City, and she may or may not share her actual name with one of the other NYC boroughs) decided that they are going to get married. This is not just your thirty second hilarious love story between young elementary school kids.
This is serious.
At least, if you ask them it is.
A month and a half ago, Manhattan told Matthew that she was going to marry a different boy because he had asked first. This led to Matthew literally sobbing his ever-loving head off in Troy's arms. Hysterical, hiccuping sobs. Troy's shirt was soaked as he tried to keep a straight face and mend his six-year-old's broken heart. "She ex-ed me out!" Matthew wailed. Troy explained they could still be friends and Matthew bawled about how he didn't want to be friends, he wanted her to be his wife. It was equal parts hilarious and gut-wrenching.
Her mom later told me that Manhattan had lamented her dilemma. There were two boys who loved her. Oh what a problem to have. She was with Matthew first. But then the other boy had proposed marriage and Matthew hadn't. In the words of Beyonce, If you like it then you should have put a ring on it. She had accepted the first proposal so she needed to stick with it.
But then something happened. I don't know what. I can't keep young love straight. Suddenly, Manhattan and Matthew were back together again. And they were taking it VERY seriously.
"Mom! I have to dress fancy for church because Manhattan is going to wear her fancy dress for me," he instructed one Sunday morning. Thankfully, his idea of dressing fancy is pants (of any kind) and a shirt with buttons.
We went to California for almost two weeks. We started our week off camping at Santee Lakes. Matthew discovered a kind of tree fort hollow and declared it his Bush House. He began regaling us with tales of moving Manhattan in to his Bush House. We threw concerns at him. "Do you think she'd like sleeping on the dirt?"
"I'll bring in some carpet."
"How about the fact that the rain will come right through and soak everything?"
"I'll get a tarp."
There was a solution for every problem. His face was determined, sure that he would one day move his girl into his Bush House. We asked him when he planned to move. "When she is 17 and I am 16."
"You can't get married that young," I reminded him.
"I know. We are going to get engaged when I am 20 and married when I am 21." So, apparently, they're just planning to play house in the bush for five years first. He told us about their children. One boy and one girl. My future grandson is Eric (one of Matthew's middle names) Rokie (I have no idea but the poor kid lives in Utah, the capitol of the baby naming apocalypse. He doesn't know any better). My future granddaughter is Delta.
"Can her middle name be Dawn? Because then I can sing to her. Delta Dawn, what's that flower you have on? Could it be a faded rose from days gone by?" My mom joined me. His eyes widened.
"Did you just make that up?" He then readily agreed to name her Delta Dawn.
I relayed all of this to Manhattan's mom on Sunday. She told me that that morning, she'd overheard Manhattan asking her sister if she thought Matthew would like her dress. I'm not making any of this up.
Sunday night the phone rang. When I answered it, Manhattan's tiny voice asked for Matthew. I handed him the phone. "Hello?" he said. "I don't even hear anyone!" he shouted at me. "HELLO?" Suddenly his eyes widened, "IT'S MANHATTAN...Hmmm...MOM?!! DID YOU TELL MANHATTAN ABOUT THE BUSH HOUSE? Well, Manhattan, I don't think you'll like it because there are ants."
I interjected, "You can call an exterminator."
"Oh. My mom says we can get a bug guy to get rid of the ants."
And then they proceeded to talk on the phone for ten minutes. He told her that they could live there but they'd probably have to come home to Utah to visit their families. He explained that he'd fish for their food in the lake. And Troy and I stood in the kitchen and cracked up.
Matthew brought me the phone. "She says she's done talking now. Goodbye, Manhattan!" He held the phone out to me. I spoke to my hypothetical future daughter in law and asked for the hypothetical other grandma of my future grandchildren. She got on the phone and we dissolved into hysterical laughter.
They are definitely taking this young love thing seriously. It is precious.
And so so funny.