My son Jack is an amorous young man. He is very interested in the ladies. Once during pre-school recess, he made a bouquet of flowers for a little girl in his class, got down on a knee and proposed to her. He shows a lot of interest in all of his little girlfriends; holding their hands, practicing active listening, etc. I am half impressed and half terrified by this disposition.
When I picked Jack up from school the other day, he seemed a little down. 'What's up, buddy?' I said. 'My girlfriend broke up with me today', he said.
'Oh!' I said. 'That's too bad. What happened?'
'She said we're broke up'.
'Well', I said, 'There are other fish in the sea'.
'I'm confused by your fishing metaphors'. Piped in Spencer, my 10 year old.
'What that means,' I said, 'is that there are other girls in the sea. And the best way to to turn one of them into your girlfriend is to dangle a worm in front of their face'.
Spencer laughed. 'For some reason I don't think that will work'.
'It has always worked for me'. I said. I patted Jack on the shoulder. 'Don't be too upset about this. She's the one who's losing out, really. You're a cool dude. You don't need a girlfriend to be happy. Besides, you've got to be happy to be by yourself before you can be happy being with someone else'.
I'm not sure that last sentence made much sense to either me or Jack. I have a bad habit of trying to fill empty space with wise words, especially when I don't know what to say. Cliches pour from my mouth when my kids are struggling with something that I don't have the answer to.
Kid: Dad, I miss our pet bunny. I wish it hadn't died.
Me: a bird in hand is worth two in the bush.
Kid: What happens when we die?
Me: Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
Kid: What is a eukaryote?
Me: A just man is like a tree planted by a stream.
I'm glad to have my little Don Juan, I just hope he doesn't turn me into a grandfather by the time he's in 6th grade.