Son is 'off sick' today. At eleven years old and in the final year of junior school, he has received his first secret, 'tell no-one or I'll die' love letter. In very flowery lettering, after all the warnings to tell nobody, she declared that she loves him from the bottom of her everlasting heart. Quote. He is to find out who she is and then come and see her about going public.
I've had two days now of him veering between demanding that her wishes be respected, and sitting there staring at it mumbling things like 'Oh my God this is shit scary.' Yesterday he realised that even the paper was scented.
I've watched him procrastinate as hard as he possibly can about writing a letter back, although in his worldview it would be unthinkable to just walk up to the girl that he has been told (but can't prove) wrote the note. A written reply it has to be, and he hates writing.
Yesterday, inspite of her warnings, word had obviously crept out from her side of things and he was inundated with pupils, even from other years, asking him if he was in love with Ms X. With no written reply to pass via her friend who is playing postman, he decided to fend them all off with 'That's private information and I can't tell you.'
At least the fear of being bullied and belittled by some of the nosier boys in his class has abated, albeit only under the new sensation that every pair of eyes in the school will be on him until they meet and hold hands; or not.
Today, waking to realise that he still hadn't put his thoughts to paper, he developed the kind of angst that goes to the stomach. Grey, listless, panicky and veering constantly between wanting to go to school and wanting to hide under a rock whilst doing an excellent impression of a drama queen throughout for a solid hour and a half, he wore me down. I sent his sister to school by taxi and phoned in to say he had stomach cramps and was off sick.
I was looking for the picture here, which about covers it really, when he asked if he could use his dad's computer. That was it.
There is now a 208 word love letter ready to be printed off, composed, corrected and completed in under half an hour. School would be so proud; he certainly is; being decided that he has stated his feelings plainly. Well plainly enough that if the letter gets stolen he won't be a laughing stock.
It starts with a smiley, ends with yours happily and tells her how impressed he is - that it 'took a lot of guts'(sic) to write the first letter, which remains secret as requested.
Well, not that secret obviously, now his rotten mother has blogged it - but he doesn't know that.
The stomach ache is gone and replaced by a silly grin. He can't wait to get to school but at this precise moment feels it will have to wait until tomorrow because going in late, today, would be 'too obvious.' His words.
Meantime he has gone in search of his personal CD to listen to some music - something fulfilling and uplifting and levelling, something that makes him feel like things are all working out. In his case, that's Frontier Psychiatrist by The Avalanches (Crazy in the coconut - that boy needs therapy.)
I love him!