Nov 25 2007

Enter The Goddess Of Rules And Keeper Of The Order Of Things

Published by at 5:55 am under Children,Parenting

I was terrified of girls when I was Filosofo’s age.

As an eight-year old boy, the worst thing that could possibly happen to me was to be told by another kid in my class that a girl liked me.

Worst still, if that girl’s birthday was coming up in, say, four to six weeks’ time, I would start obsessing about the excuses I would have to make when asked by all of her friends why I failed to turn up to her birthday celebration.

“I was rostered for the night shift at my father’s take-away restaurant and there was no one else who could take my place.”

That was the best excuse I could come up with, other than actually being sick on the day, which is what actually used to happen. I would get so nervous about the thought of having to dance alone with the birthday girl, that I’d literally make myself sick.

And so I would beg my Dad to let me work in his restaurant on that particularly dreaded Saturday night, that was still four to six weeks away.

But I digress …

As an eight-year old, I really was terrified of girls. My mother once dropped me off at a party where it turned out I was the only boy in a room with around twenty girls. I spent the next couple of hours agonizing in a corner chair, staring down at my brand new sneakers, desperately praying for mom to come back and take me home. Occasionally, a pair of feet in pink, flowery sandals would appear in my peripheral field of vision, asking me if I wanted to get up and dance. I just mumbled “no thanks” without ever taking my eyes off the floor. I spent the whole night fobbing off the birthday girl’s mother.

There was one exciting event, however, involving girls, which I did like. That was the classic game that is still being played during recesses and lunch hours in schools today, where the girls chase the boys until they catch them all, and then the game reverses and all the boys then chase the girls until they’re all caught.

That was very exciting for me, because there was one girl in my class that I obsessed about, even though she never gave any sign of being aware that I even existed. I remember thinking how impressed she would be when I joined the school choir, but apparently girls then weren’t into boys who wore frilly white blouses with satin pants and sang florid counterpoints.

Unfortunately, I soon discovered that all the while I was obsessing about this one girl, there was another girl in my class who who was obsessing about me. She lived a couple of blocks away from me and I tried to pretend she didn’t exist. In fact, I would spend all of my lunch hours running away from her. Eventually, she must have decided that the chasing game extended beyond school hours, because she would wait for me as I made my way to school in the mornings, and then escort me to school, holding tightly onto my arm like I was her prisoner for the six or seven blocks that we had to walk to get to school.

And so, as far as girls were concerned, I spent most of my time as an eight-year old obsessing about the one who didn’t care for me, and avoiding the one who wanted to own me.

I have digressed even further from the story I want to tell you …

Filosofo can be a little shy sometimes, but he is not scared of girls at all. In fact, I am really surprised at how comfortable he is around girls his age, given that he only has brothers. Filosofo and Exacto (and next year Destructo) both attend a Rudolf Steiner school, and they do a fantastic job of integrating kids and giving them a real sense of respect for one another and being part of a diverse community.

Filosofo is very well liked by many of the girls in his class and even has found himself a sweetheart.

Recently, Corporate Babe, myself, my mother and the kids went to see Filosofo perform one of the leading roles as the dragon Vritra, the ancient Hindu drought demon, in a school play written by Filosofo’s teacher about Indian deities. My mother, who is heavily involved in amateur theater in her local community was very impressed with the play.

Corporate Babe and I, needless to say, were thrilled at watching Filosofo performing his role with gusto and total lack of inhibition. The electrifying moment for us came when Vritra, played by Filosofo, comes face to face with Varuna, the Goddess of Rules and keeper of the Divine order of things, played by the very same girl who has a crush on him (which he has confided to us is fully reciprocated).

Varuna tells Vritra that she will do away with all of his foolishness and lies, and that there is nowhere he can hide, for she will swallow the whole ocean until she finds him. Talk about Girl Power!

Varuna has had a crush on Filosofo since discovering that he is better at maths than her. In addition, they also share lots of other things in common, one of the most amazing of all, being the fact that both her Dad and my son’s Dad (i.e. me), have the same first name. Pretty cool, huh?

I often see Varuna come running up the hill to give Filosofo a big hug when I drop him off at school. He’s not terrified at all.

One day, after school, Varuna came straight up to me, pulled out a notepad and a pen out of her back pocket and asked for Filosofo’s phone number. I didn’t know how to respond, so I simply gave it to her. That same evening, Varuna called asking for Filosofo and they spent the next fifteen minutes chatting on the phone, until Varuna’s grandmother told her it was time to hang up.

This phone call made big news with Corporate Babe when she arrived home that evening. Filosofo has since then gone to Varuna’s birthday party (where they played lots of games with other kids but nobody danced!), and chatted to her a few times on the phone (she calls, he says “What?”, she says “What What?”, he replies “What What What?” and so on …).

And so, Corporate Babe recently decided to invite Varuna to come see “Ratatouille” with us at the movies. Corporate Babe arranged everything with Varuna’s parents.

The big day finally came.

Varuna was dressed in a really pretty dress. As far as I could tell, Filosofo wore the same clothes he wears everyday to school. They both sat in the back of our people mover, with the younger boys in the middle seats, and Corporate Babe and I in the front.

From the moment we set off to the movies until we dropped Varuna back home afterwards, both she and Filosofo were inseparable little peas in a pod. The younger boys kept vying for Varuna’s attention, but it was pretty hard for them to penetrate through the cosy, intimate little cocoon that Varuna and Filosofo had spun around themselves.

After the movie finished, Varuna and Filosofo immediately entered “the zone” again. As we were driving home, we could hear their incessant chattering in the back.

At one point, Exacto tried to participate in their discussion. Varuna said to him: “I don’t think you should participate in this conversation … we’re talking about sex!”

Corporate Babe and I just looked at each other and our jaws dropped.

A couple of nights later, as we were putting the boys to bed, Corporate Babe just couldn’t hold out any longer, so she tentatively walked into Filosofo’s room and asked him what the “conversation about sex” had been all about.

Filosofo just shrugged and said “I don’t know … she was just talking about stuff!”

He then asked “what is sex?” and my wife suddenly realized that she had backed herself into a very prickly corner. So, mustering as much tact as she could, she simply told Filosofo that sex was a very big subject and that it was too late at night to initiate such a conversation. She then kissed him goodnight and got out of the room as quickly as she could.

My son is not terrified of girls at all. And he does not fear Varuna, the Goddess of Rules and keeper of the Divine order of things.

The Lazy HouseHusband


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