11 August 2010


We were pulling weeds in the garden yesterday when Maya asked me a question I didn't expect to hear for another decade.

"Momma, when can I date?" she asked with a giggle, a shoulder-shrug and a well-rehearsed bat of her lashes.

At first, I thought she said rake, but after inquiring further, I confirmed that my SIX-YEAR OLD did indeed ask me when she can date.

The background blurred, time slowed to molasses, I think I went numb, mumbled something about being sixteen, stammered about not dating until I was well into college (a slight exaggeration); then I resolved to just shut my mouth and play it cool. I don't recall how the conversation ended (perhaps it's because I passed out, bumped my head and blocked the whole thing out).

OK, that last part's not true either, but it happened in my imagination when the conversation played over again in my mind last night.

Sixteen hours later, I'm watching my little girl spring about the house with her mermaid Barbie and wondering: Excuse me, whah?!? What WAS that? The dating things is bound to come up again before 2020, so what do I do?

I think I might need a strong drink and a sedative.