As told to Dera White, the mother of one of my former students. Fiona and Neve are her children
After the last day of school, walking up and down Whole Food’s aisles.
Fiona: “Mom, since I won’t see Doug at school everyday anymore, can I be his penpal?”
Me: “Yeah. That would be nice.”
Fiona: “Are you going to say something about him being my boyfriend? Because he’s not. He’s just my friend.”
Me: “No. I want you to have friends with both boys and girls. I won’t tease you for it.”
Neve: “Doug. That’s a funny name. Dug. Duh-ugh. Duggy. Is his name short for ‘Doug-apher’?”
Fiona: “It’s short for ‘Douglas’, Neve. Be quiet.
Mom, in that movie that you and Daddy were watching the other night, didn’t the girl and the boy start being friends because they were penpals?”
She was referring to Moonrise Kingdom. And I have no idea how she knew about it, as she was supposed to be asleep. And I was definitely asleep while the movie was on, so I’m in no position to answer her question.
Me: “I don’t know. I slept through the movie.”
Fiona: “Yeah, they started as penpals, and then they fell in love. And then they ran away together.”
Me: “Yeah, well. You and Doug are not boyfriend and girlfriend, so it’s fine. You guys are just friends. Just penpals, right?”
Fiona: “Right. I just hope Doug doesn’t fall in love with me. Or ask me to run away with him.”
I look at her with a raised brow, and Neve laughs.
Neve: “Fall in love with you? Don’t say that, Fiona. It’s not like boys are just falling in love with you all the time everywhere we go. Do you think he is in love with you?”, pointing to the 50-something year old man behind the seafood counter in a hairnet.
Me: “You can say no, remember? If he asks you to run away with him, that is…”
Fiona: “Well, actually, mom. I’m not sure. I don’t think you can say ‘no’ to love.”
For more awesome stories follow Dera’s blog, Casablanca, at http://derafrances.blogspot.com/