Boys are fickle creatures. Some are intent on being masculine. Others are really sensitive. And still more are both masculine and sensitive at different times. That’s the glory of the human male, that there really are no generalizations that hold up across the board. But when you’re a 10 years old girl all boys are the same.
Recently, I had a conversation with Lexi about boys, but I’m not really sure I got through to her about the nature of relationships with boys, and how they change as you get older. Or… maybe she got through to me.
Me: Did you have a good time at your summer class this week?
Lexi: Yeah. I met so many new people, and I made a new friend too!
Me: Is your new friend a girl or a boy?
Lexi: Well duh. It’s a girl.
Me: How come it’s “duh”? How would I know your new friend was a girl?
Lexi: Because… the boys and the girls were in separate groups.
Me: How would I know that?
Lexi: Well, because girls think differently than boys, so we only worked with girls.
Me: How do girls think differently than boys?
Lexi: Uh, well, you know. Girls are more about, uh, I don’t know.
Me: So you’re assuming girls think differently because your teacher separated you from the boys, or is it something else?
Lexi: Well, boys are just different. They’re all into trucks and stuff. I like drawing and painting.
Me: A lot of boys like drawing and painting. And a lot of them aren’t into trucks either.
Lexi: You know what I mean!
Me: I know you’re making general statements about an entire group. You like Minecraft, don’t you?
Me: Well, a lot of girls like Minecraft, but the toys are usually in the boy section of the store. And the clothes are usually in the boy section of the store.
Me: So… think about it. People are individuals. Just because you like Minecraft doesn’t make me think you’re a boy. It helps me know you’re an individual.
Lexi: But boys like to joke around all the time.
Me: Some boys do, but as you get older you’ll see that not all boys are like that. And people change. You’re going to change. Someday you’re probably going to start liking boys.
Lexi: I like some boys now. I have some boys who are my friends.
Me: No, I mean you’re going to start liking boys, like your mother likes me.
Lexi: Mom loves you.
Lexi: Ewwwww. I’m never going to like a boy like that.
Me: Never say never. Yikes, now I sound just like Justin Bieber.
Lexi: Who’s Justin Bieber?
Me: Not important. My point is that you never know what’s going to happen in the future.
Lexi: Well, I can say it now, and it’s going to be true forever. I’m never going to like a boy like that.
Me: We’ll talk again in 10 years.
Lexi: We can’t talk again tomorrow?
Me: Not what I meant. I just meant things change. When I was your age I never thought I’d like a girl either. Now look at me.
Lexi: But I’m not you.
Me: I know. That’s obvious. I’m just saying things might change.
Lexi: Yeah. Everything else will change. I am never going to like a boy.
Me: If you say so.
Lexi: Now you’re just making fun of me.
Me: Yes. Yes I am.