Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Hips Came In

    The Scribe, my nine-year-old stood preening in front of the mirror.
    "What are you doing?" I asked.
    "Just admiring myself," she said breathlessly. "Mom, this is one of the best days of my life."
    "Ummm . . . Why?"
    "Because my hips came in, and that means now I can have a boyfriend."


    Where did that logic come from? I've never heard anything like it!  
    What?  When you're five you start school.  When you're sixteen, you drive.  When you twenty-one, you can drink.  But when your hips come in, oh that's all the rage because it means you can start dating.
    Plus, how do hips come in anyway? That sounds awfully painful--far worse than when my milk came in.  In fact, I think my hips finally appeared when I was dilated to a ten on the delivery table!  And let me tell you, that pain WAS NOT worth beauty!
    To top things off, the whole "hip thing" made me a bit sad. 
    If I'd never had kids, I wouldn't have hips . . . and if I didn't have hips, I should NOT have been dating.  And if I should NOT have been dating, I wouldn't have kids.  And if I didn't have kids, well, that sounded like the cycle of death!
    I felt positively sinful then.  I'd broken a rule, something The Scribe thought was important.  I had dated WITHOUT HIPS!
    "Wow, those are great hips," I said, even though I couldn't see them, "but you still can't date until you're sixteen."
    Her big lip pouted.  "But Mo-om.  There's a really cute guy at school."  
    A guy--they're in fourth grade!  
    "He's sweet and nice," she went on.  "He's even funny and he has a mohawk."  What a bonus--seriously.  "And he reminds me of . . . of Daddy!"  
     Oh, now I knew she played with fire.
     "That's dangerous.  Once a girl like you falls for a boy like your daddy . . . there's no looking back."
    "Really?" She giggled, and I realized the conversation had gone the wrong direction.
    "No boyfriends," I said.
    "But he's in a band."
    "No boyfr--.  Wait, what?!  He's nine."
    "Ten," she corrected with so much pride, I couldn't help myself.
    "Oh, an older man."
    "And he plays the guitar."
     "You still can't date him.  If you date, then you'll have to break up."
    "But you just said there'd be no looking back."
    I rolled my eyes.  I hate it when kids use my own words against me.
    "Fine," she said, sweet like mud pie.  "I won't date him. I'll tell him you said 'no,' but that I wish we could.  Our love with be something people write about, like Ang and Katara in The Last Airbender."

     "Maybe I'll let you date when you stop comparing your burning love to a cartoon romance."
    "Mo-om, you know what I mean."
    "Plus, you've forgotten the other rule about hips.  If you date him, your hips might go away."
    "Seriously?" she asked and I nodded.
    "Wow," she said. "Are you lying?"
    "No.  I wouldn't lie about this."
    "I don't know if he's worth it." She finally decided.
    "Well, you better be sure."
    "Yeah," she said. "Maybe having a boyfriend isn't all it's cut out to be.  A life without hips, well,  that wouldn't be fun at all."
    "I agree," I said. "Because I've been there."
    "I love you, Mom.  Are you still happy my hips came in?"
    "Of course," I said. "But I'm a little worried you're growing up too fast.  I hope you'll always know how much I love you, girl."
    She hugged me tight, and inside I cackled like a mad--yet youthful--witch.  
    I couldn't help smiling as I thought, "The Scribe loves her hips more than that ten-year-old boy.  Problem adverted, until another day!"