Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Modern Love

Sunshine splashed around us as Maya leaned toward me, a wide smile stretched across her face. “Luca’s so nice,” she gushed, over a plate of macaroni and cheese and fruit salad.

“Yes, he is,” I agreed. He was sitting right next to her at the Little League Bonanza, a carnival-like party of games, jumpy tents, music, a silent auction and raffle, and food, which serves as a major fundraiser for the Dixie Terra Linda Little League, in which both Maya and Luca, our five year old neighbor, play t-ball.

Up until a few weeks ago, Maya and Luca, who are still boyfriend and girlfriend, had plans to marry. Maya explained to me that “Luca wants us to get married.” This was a radical departure from Maya’s usual insistence that she was never leaving home. “I’m going to live with you forever, OK, Daddy?”

“But maybe you will want to go to college?”

“Nope. I’m going to live with you when I get older.”

Maya didn’t have her whole life mapped, however, beyond wanting to stay home with me and not have breasts. She never explained why (nor did I ask) she wanted to remain stuck in pre-pubescence, but I am sure it is because of what happened to Verna. It doesn’t take an amateur Freud to figure that out.

But when Maya and her previous boyfriend Leo, who is also not quite six like Luca, decided to cool things off and remain good friends (apparently Leo hopes to wed his younger sister), Luca inadvertently swooped in and pledged his eternal love—at least until 1st grade. Generosity may have also played a role in Luca’s behavior. Maya constantly shares her bracelets with him, for which he is grateful and shows Maya how modern Luca truly is.

A few weeks ago, though, as Maya and I were headed to the park, Luca called to us from his bedroom window. “Hi, Luca,” Maya said. “I have something to tell you. Can you come outside?”

“I have to take a shower. What do you want to tell me?”

“I’ll tell you tomorrow,” Maya responded.

Maya walked over to me, smiling shyly, and whispered, “I can’t marry Luca.”

“Why not?”

“I’m going to live in Hawaii with Maya,” her best friend who is three days older. My Maya said, “Luca can visit us.”

“Maya, what did you want to tell me?” Luca shouted down as Maya and I huddled on the sidewalk outside his home.

Maya relented and shared with Luca that their future together did not involve nuptials but some vague visitations in what might very well be the two Mayas’ Hawaiian paradise.

After his shower, Luca went to his mother, Ericka, and said, “Mom, can I talk to you about something?”

“Yes, what’s up?”

Luca told her about the conversation with Maya and how they now could not get married, just enjoy each other’s friendship on a tropical island.

“What do you think about that?” Ericka asked.

“It’s OK,” Luca said. “We can change her mind.”

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