Breaking news: son has his first crush.

Weirdly, the first crush comes a couple of years after the first girlfriend. In Grade 2, a girl passed him a note that said, “I like you, do you like me? Tick yes, or no.” He ticked yes, and apparently thereafter they were a couple.

He shared the note with us. After we stopped laughing, we had a chat about what that meant. Apparently, to him it meant sitting together on the bus during school trips. She once fell asleep on his shoulder. I was concerned that he would ditch his other friends for her, but that wasn’t the case.

In the end, he didn’t even want to invite this girl to his birthday. Pairing off was apparently a thing that year at school, nothing more.

At the start of the next year, I ran into her mum and she said to me laughing,” Z is so sad she’s not in Nene’s class.” “I know,” I agreed.

That was that.

***

Just before the school broke for Chinese New Year, I had Nene’s bestie over for a long overdue playdate. On the train to our house, J said,” You know, so-and-so has a crush on Ms S. Everytime he sees her, his face goes like this [insert goldfish face]”.

I missed a beat, then said: “Well, Ms S is very pretty.” The boys looked at each other. Not sure if they agreed.

It occurred to me that these nine-year-olds were discussing crushes. I asked Nene if he had one. He denied it. I asked him who J’s was. He wouldn’t tell. He did tell me about another boy though.

A week or so later, he crawled onto the couch next to me and whispered,” Want to know who my crush is?”

Turns out it’s a European girl from another tower in our estate. I’ve never seen her.

I tried to probe what having a crush meant. Apparently, he thinks she’s pretty, he gets a feeling when he sees her.

Then nothing.

***

Last week, I heard her name again. Apparently, Mimi has a new friend and guess who it is? They spent some time throwing a ball at Nene.

Hmmmm.

“Is this the same girl?” I asked.

He nodded.

***

Suddenly, Nene is very interested in when Mimi is going down to play. Why? Because (and I’m going to go with a pseudonym here) Leila will be there too.

He hears his friends holler for him (and may I say here how cute I find the fact that a 61 storey skyscraper does not deter kids from yelling for their friends to come down and play). He freezes.

“What’s wrong?” I ask.

“But I don’t want to play with them,” he mutters. Unsaid: He wants to play with Leila.

Please note that this involves playing hiding the thimble with two girls.

***

V goes downstairs and comes back grinning. Apparently, Nene gave his friends the slip and went off to play with Mimi and Leila. His friends spotted V heading in that direction and followed him there.

Suddenly a quiet game of three became crowded out by boys. In the end, Nene went back to basketball.

In the meantime, Leila has become a fan of V and insists he stay on and play.

Later, the kids report to me the tragic news that Leila is going off on holiday to Thailand the next day.

Then we hear Thailand has introduced quarantine for all visitors from Hong Kong. There’s hope. (Turns out Hongkongers are not to be quarantined – yet – so Leila has probably departed).