posted Sun, 28 Jan 2007
I had supper with my friend Emily last night. She told me great stories about her little boy, Ellis, who is nine. Ellis decided he didn’t want to go to a four-day Boy Scout last summer. “Mama,” he said firmly, “I’ve never been away from you for four days in my life and I don’t intend to start this summer.”
He has already decided what to name his eight children: Ellis A. K., Jr, Gray A. K. (Gray was Emily and her ex-husband’s second choice for a boy’s name), Robert A. K. (Robert is Emily’s dad), Thomas A. K. (Thomas is Emily’s favorite uncle and is also a beloved neighbor), Emily Caroline K. (would have been Ellis’s name had he been a girl), Emily Elizabeth K., Emily Ann K. and Emily “whatever her name is that I marry” K.
Ellis is eagerly awaiting Valentine’s Day this year so he can have a do-over with Hayley. He has been in love with Hayley since they were both 18 months old and in Mother’s Day Out together. They go to different schools now, but she is in his heart. She came to his birthday party last year (in December) and Grandma reported that they held hands surreptitiously.
On Valentine’s Day last year, at Ellis’s request, Emily took Ellis to Hayley’s house so he could deliver a bouquet of chocolate roses to her. Hayley, her little sister, and her mother lined up on the porch for the exchange. Hayley gave Ellis a homemade valentine: heavy paper with lace and valentine candies pasted to it. Ellis presented the roses to Hayley, who oohed and aahed appropriately: “Oh, Mama! Look at these! Aren’t they so pretty!”
Then Ellis stage-whispered to Emily, “Can we go behind the car?”
Ellis: I want to kiss her!
Emily: No. You’re too young.
Ellis [rolling eyes]: I mean on the cheek
Emily: If you want to do that, you need to do it in front of her mother and you need to ask her permission first.
So Ellis marched up to Hayley and asked, “Can I kiss you?”
“No!” she said, shocked, and spun on her heel and, as Emily says, “disappeared in a dust of pink into the house.”
Ellis was crushed as he watched as the love of his life vanish.
“You can kiss me” said Hayley’s little sister, coyly.
Hayley’s mom tried to explain to Ellis that Hayley is very shy, goes to an all-girls’ school and is not used to being around boys. “If you want to give the kiss to me” – she pointed to her cheek – “I’ll make sure she gets it. I’m sure she’ll appreciate it.”
Back in the car, Ellis huffed, “She’s been my girlfriend for years. You’d think she’d let me kiss her.”
“I’m still going to marry her.”
The end of the line
1 year ago