It's not working out for me
Little Dude broke up with his girlfriend. “He said ‘sorry, it’s not working out for me so I’m dumping you.’ OMG”- read the text from Mr Chateauneuf. I choked on the tea I was drinking.
It all started three months ago, they met in the park across the road. She was wearing skates, a pink jacket and a cheeky smile; he was in his football gear and already in love. He asked her out straight away and she said yes. Together they were chasing the ice-cream van, hanging out by the swings and holding hands. It was the perfect relationship. Or so I thought.
That night I called Little Dude and we had a little chat. He didn’t want to talk about it so I kept interrogating him. I wanted to know exactly what ‘wasn’t working out’. He held out for all of two minutes and then he started talking.
He told me he never saw her anymore. They had a date place on the football pitch where they used to meet during the break at school. But over the past few weeks she stopped coming. He was waiting and waiting but she never came. On the last occasion she didn’t come because she chose to go into a detention with her girlfriend instead of seeing her boyfriend.
So he cut his losses and drowned his sorrows in Cadbury Ritz and more Coke Cola than his little tummy could handle. He had his standards and the girl clearly hadn’t met them.
I didn’t know what to say to him. So I just listened and asked questions. When the dumping topic was exhausted, we talked about his day at school and what he had for dinner. It was our usual Tuesday night conversation.
When I put the phone down I started thinking about ambitions. Little Dude is only 11 years old and yet he knows exactly what he wants from life – to be a footballer, to have a girlfriend who values their date time and only ketchup with his fries.
I couldn’t help but wonder, how many of us out there know exactly what we want? We might know how we like our coffee and fries, but do we know what we want from life?
The following weekend, Little Dude and DeeQ visited their ‘London home’ helping me to put my Christmas tree up. We were singing carols, eating chocolate and arguing over where the crystal ballerina should go. Little Dude was adamant she was supposed to be just underneath the robin.
That ballerina was my favourite decoration and I always made sure she had a good spot on the tree. Underneath the robin was a completely wrong place and I tried to suggest putting her elsewhere. But Little Dude wouldn’t have any of it. He told me that she already made friends with the robin and that we couldn’t possibly separate new friends.
I buckled under the sheer force of his imagination, determination and sugar rush. (That’s when I realised he had the entire Cadbury chocolate bar to himself which made him even more persuasive!). There was no way I could argue with his logic and was perplexed by the fact that an 11 year old just told me how to decorate MY tree and I let him.
The boys slept in my lounge and because they like to have the lights on while the fall asleep, I left the Christmas tree lit up for them.
After the usual 34 rounds of kisses, good-night’s and love you’s, I was about the leave the room when I took one last look at my tree. It was beautiful, the boys did well. I scanned the tree and found the ballerina – she was still in the wrong place but I smiled.
I admired Little Dude’s determination and confidence and made a wish upon my plastic Christmas star that some of it would rub off on me.