Nigel: Can eighth-graders have dates?
Me: What did you have in mind?
Me: No; what did you have in mind for what you wanted to do for the date?
Nigel: A movie date. But I have to decide what movie.
Me: Maybe you should let your date decide.
Nigel, eyes wide, smiling, high-fives me: Genius! I can learn about dating from you!
Me: I think that’s an excellent idea. Many parents don’t feel comfortable with their kids dating until high school, so you can spend the next year learning about dating, and then you’ll be ready.
Nigel: Well, I have another idea. [Leaves my office, runs down the hall to his room, returns in a moment brandishing a 2 x 3 school photo from last year, which was taken without my knowledge that it was Picture Day, and he had left the house that morning in a dirty old T-shirt that said “Baseball” across the front.]Next time I talk to Stephanie on the sidewalk, I can give this to her to show her parents so that they can have a visualization of me.
Me: Well, they’d probably want to meet you first, anyway. And me [the mother who lets her son have school pictures taken in a ratty T-shirt]. But let’s wait until high school, okay? I’m sure Stephanie’s parents would feel better about that, too.
Nigel: But what if they don’t?
Me: We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Nigel: You mean like in The Emperor’s New Groove?
Me: Yes. With sharp rocks at the bottom.
Nigel: Uh, Mom, the scene with that line was when they were going over the waterfall, not the bridge.
Me: Oh. Right.