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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Saturday, November 10, 2018

The right age for crushes....

Traveling with my grandchild is so joyful, sweet, and rewarding! Spending 24/7 with him enables me to get to know him in a way most adults don’t have or take the opportunity to know a child. He confides in me, asks me all sorts of questions, and expounds upon his now 10-year-old worldly views.

Yesterday he asked me “Grandmother, how old do you have to be to have a crush?” I immediately answer my stock “25”. Usually when he asks me a question, I try to figure out what he’s thinking by asking him a question in return. But when it comes to imposed heterosexuality, I answer immediately.

I’ve already told him the appropriate age for dating and kissing and turning a friendship relationship into a lover relationship: 25 years old. I tell him about not getting distracted from his purpose as a child, which is to learn every possible thing about everything that he can.

But this time I remind him about how our society doesn’t want boys to be friends with girls – or girls to be friends with boys – unless they are girlfriend and boyfriend. And this ‘crush’ business is simply a part of that pressure.

He remembers when he was 5 and got on the ferris wheel with a girl. The other children immediately started making kissy noises and chanting “Mary has a boyfriend” in that teasing manner. Before I could take a step forward, the mother races up to the ferris wheel and admonishes the children. “Boys and girls can be just friends, so don’t even go there. They are not ‘boyfriend and girlfriend’ at all. Stop trying to lay that on them – it is wrong and bigoted.”

I am pleased he has remembered and that he connects this “crush” behavior with the pressure to be “boyfriend and girlfriend”.

And I’m pleased when he nods sagely and accepts ‘25’ as the age to which he can put his attention into expanding friendships into intimate relationships.