Mae is 11 years old, wears size 10 shoes, stands five feet four and weighs the same as me (she has Capron cow bones, I have Lavoie bird bones). She is easy in her changing body and Jennifer Lawrence gorgeous. If you looked up lovely in the dictionary you’d find her hooded Eskimo eyes and Mona Lisa smile.
The kids are in three different schools with three different calendars. This Thanksgiving week, Mae and Mihiretu were off school, Lana in. That made for a couple of Mae-Mihiretu-Mom days.
We went to the mall on Monday and while Mae was selecting jeans and Mihiretu was riding the escalators shrieking like a pterodactyl, something struck me.
“You know who’s really going to tease you when you get a boyfriend?” I asked, handing Mae a pair of size 27s.
“Who?” Mihiretu asked as he skidded into Mae.
I nested a hand in his curls. “Mihiretu Capron, that’s who.”
Mae groaned and gave me a half-concealed smile. Mihiretu hopped from foot to foot in delight, thrilled with anticipation.
The next day Mihiretu and I (and Sunny the Dog) walked Mae to a friend’s house in the neighborhood. Coming towards us down our wooded lane hobbled an elderly man, his neck frozen into a permanent stoop. He walked a small, long-haired dog.
“Is that a cat?” asked Mihiretu in his version of sotto voce (not sotto at all).
“That’s a dog.”
We passed the man. He gave us a friendly nod as Sunny lost her mind barking at his cat. Just as I was pulling her back into line, giving her my “I’m the boss, not you” lecture, Mihiretu said, again in his “quiet” voice, “Hey, Mae.”
“What?” she said, looking at him sideways, already knowing some mischief was coming her way.
“Dat guy yo’ type.” His eyes sparkled, he wore a Cheshire grin.
“He is not my type!” She flailed her arms in indignation but she, too, was grinning.
“Oh yeah, Mae, he yo’ type.”
Where did he hear about types? Probably the same place he heard about “upper cut punch” (I gonna give you an uppa cut PUNCH!). No matter, the kid’s got a killer instinct for what makes people tick.
And, Mae, bless her, laughed along with us, adolescent though she may be, far more poised than I ever remember being at that age, room in her heart for a small ridiculous boy. As for her type? I’m thinking he’s going to be pretty cool.