fell hopelessly in love with a girl he met at science camp. The two exchanged phone numbers but Chunky, being 7 at the time, did not manage to hang on to that precious piece of paper. And Catherine, heartless, blonde 8-year-old that she was, never called him. Never.
For over a year, Chunky has been exhausting his family with scenarios of finding her. He’s imagined out loud, ad nauseam, walking into McDonalds where Catherine happens to be having lunch, or stopping at a red light and looking over to see Catherine in the car next to us. He knows what area of the city she lives in and tried to convince me to drive up and down the streets while he called her name.
I was actually considering starting a "Find Catherine" Facebook campaign. He was that desperate. And we were that tired of hearing about her.
But last week we began to see some encouraging signs. We have hope. Finally, after the long Year of Catherine, a change is in the air. My husband and I are holding our breath, exchanging looks, and crossing our fingers.
On the second day of school, Chunky came home and said, “I made a new friend.”
Not at all surprised, I responded with my usual, “Good for you, honey.”
But my interest grew as he continued. “It’s the new girl who sits next to me. She asked if I wanted to be friends, but I was already thinking about asking her. She’s from San Antonio and she has an accent.” He said the last like “She has a space ship!”
The next day he came home with her phone number.
Now for the most part, Chunky is just a friendly kid who happens to enjoy playing with girls. But he is becoming aware of his own charm. Awhile ago I heard him tell his brother that he’d have lots of girls calling him in high school. Bewildered and horrified, his brother asked, “Why?” Chunky responded with, “Have you seen this face?”
Yes, despite the great and throbbing ache of Catherine’s rejection, his confidence remains intact. Yesterday, my oldest was chanting some song lyric about being sexy.
I told Monkey he didn’t need to be saying that. As I expected, my 10-year-old had no idea what the expression meant. When I explained that “sexy” means you are attractive to the opposite sex, he quickly retracted. “Oh, then I’m not sexy.” He proceeded to dance through the living room, singing, “I’m not sexy.” (I do this too, but only in the complete privacy of my bathroom.)
Flustered and slightly amused, I started to correct Monkey again, but Chunky’s response drew me up short. In a quiet, assured voice he said, “I am.”
Who could argue with that?