Like so many things, it all started innocently. In fact, the beginning was adorable.
"Mom, I'm in love," my son said a few weeks ago after school.
"Oh, how sweet," I said then added, "what's her name?"
"I can't remember, but she's got beautiful blonde hair and blue eyes."
Since that initial declaration of love my son has a) found out her name and b) talked about this little girl almost every day. He loves everything about her, including her take-charge manner when it was her turn to assign classroom chores.
"She doesn't just say, 'you're on compost duty,' she says 'You! You're compost.' Like we're actually made out of compost." He punctuated this statement with a giggle.
"Did you want to be compost?" I asked and he assured me he did.
That's sort of the way things have gone. Daily snippets about the beautiful, blondie-blonde. And it was all absolutely adorable until last week when we were walking home and I happened to tune into my children's discussion about Minecraft, the world-building video game with which they are both completely obsessed.
My son, as he usually does, was doing most of the talking.
"And so I built this house were I live with my wife...um...I don't know why I said that, because we're not really married, but someday we might be because she knows how to act like a really good wife."
My ears perked up and luckily, instead of being forced to ask the obvious question, my daughter asked it for me.
"How does someone act like a really good wife?"
"You know, they look really pretty. And whenever she wants something she comes and asks me for money. Sometimes I leave it out for her on a little table that I built in our house."
My daughter, as though she had direct access to the questions percolating in my brain said, "Why doesn't she have her own money? And most wives do more than shop, you know! Is she smart? Because that's just as important as being pretty."
Because my son was born in this century he knew, instinctively, that he'd said something wrong and began to backtrack. "She's very smart. And she has her own money, but I just like to give her mine. You know, if she wants to buy something fancy."
"That!" said my daughter who saves every penny that comes her way and will soon have enough chipmunked away for a down payment on a nice pied a terre in Paris, "is just weird! It's probably the weirdest thing I've ever heard!"
"You're right," he said. "It is weird. Let's change the subject."
And with those three little sentences I realized that, while my daughter and I might need to work on redefining his version of the perfect wife, we've already given him the verbal skills necessary to someday, make someone, an amazing husband!