Last night, as Paul and I were scrambling to get dinner on the table, the phone rang. We didn't have to look, we knew who it was.
"Oscar!" Paul shouted, "that's probably Alyssa*! You should answer it!"
Alyssa is Oscar's girlfriend. They met in the hallway outside their classroom on the first day of middle school way back in August. Oscar had been standing there smiling awkwardly at his new classmates when Alyssa came bounding around the corner. Her brown curly hair and wide grin immediately captured his attention. Oscar turned to her with a smile, stuck out his hand and said "Hi, I'm Oscar" just like we'd practiced in the days leading up to the start of school. Alyssa smiled back brightly, her sparkly brown eyes locking with his.
"Mom, mom, I have big news!" he said as he got in the car that afternoon, looking sideways over at Ruby. He didn't want her to hear, but he couldn't contain his excitement. His eyebrows danced and his lips were clamped shut to prevent him from blurting out the news. We were still in the school parking lot when he couldn't hold it any longer.
"I have a crush!" he whispered. "I'll show you when we get home, she gave me notes!" Sure enough, his backpack was full of heart-and-flower-laced love notes and Alyssa
had scrawled her phone number at the bottom of one in red crayon.
Oscar's had many crushes before, starting in kindergarten, but he's never admitted it, despite our endless probing and teasing. Last year he would blush whenever Kaley* came near him and he started standing so close to her in PE that his aide and teacher intervened. But he never admitted that he liked her. So it was rather curious for him to announce at the end of the first day of 6th grade at a new school, that he already had a crush.
I had to learn more.
(To be continued)
*Names changed, of course!