Kids Say the Darndest Things

Thursday, November 24, 2011 Nicajoice 0 Comments

Yohan (my 16 year-old student) and I were reading the Epic of Gilgamesh yesterday when he suddenly started talking about boyfriend-girlfriend relationships. The trigger words were "contemplating about marriage". He asked what "contemplating" means and I said, "It means thinking, considering..." Then he asked, "Are you contemplating about marriage?" To which I quipped, "Yes!" "Do you have a boyfriend?" he asked. "No, I don't" I quickly replied. "Have you had a boyfriend?" he asked. "Of course! The last one was two years ago." I answered. "Really??" He was surprised, apparently. "Why didn't you tell me?" he trailed on. "You didn't ask!" I said.

The story of Gilgamesh was put aside because he went on asking a lot of things. "Why did you break up? Is he handsome? Is he tall? Is he Filipino?" and so on and so forth. I told him to continue reading the story, but he said "Teacher, this is more important!" At which I laughed so hard. He may be young, and curious but he told me a lot of things last night that made me realize the obvious and even led me to "contemplate" on the state of my relationships.

I told him about the silly guy who keeps leading me on, treating me special one minute then totally the other way around the next. I told Yohan, "I think he likes me." And I went on enumerating the things he's been doing and saying. "What do you think?" I asked. "It's just..." grabbed his dictionary and searched for a word " illusion, Teacher." He was obviously taunting me and laughing at my obvious disappointment.

Or, he might be right. There must have been a huge misundertanding on my part. Maybe, it's just me, imagining things... hoping they are true.

That conversation with Yohan made me think about my other student, Clara. She's 16 too and as opinionated. I thought about sharing these things to her and I'm sure she'd agree with me. We mostly agreed on things. I could almost hear her say, "Yeah, exactly!", "Right, definitely! He's so into you!" And that would have sounded better. But then, Yohan is different and he says things in a different perspective - a male's point of view. And yeah, I can't just have things my way and hope for what I want to hear.

The conversation continued... He said, "Teacher, girls like bad boys, right?" I said, "Not really... I don't like bad boys. I like the nice guys." But then he said, "there must be some push and pull. If the guy is too kind, it'd be boring." Then he looked at my phone and saw me waiting for someone's reply, and said "See? That guy is not replying. He's pushing. He's a pro. He knows what to do." I was quite surprised how he even comes up with those things. I said, "No, he always answers. He never fails." "Then he's an amateur. That's better I guess. Pros are playboys." Yohan said. To which, he's younger brother, Daniel (9, in bed answering his math homework) interrupted. "My brother is a playboy." I turned around and asked him "Daniel, do you understand what we are talking about?" "Yes! You are talking about the silly guy!" he answered. Haha. It is way too "innocent" to think that children are innocent at this time and age.

The conversation went on and on... in between reading paragraphs and answering questions. Yohan has never had a girlfriend (according to him) but told me that he learns all those things about relationships through movies and books. And it's just amazing how he keeps every detail in mind. I told him about how I had my first boyfriend at 16 and being in 4th year high school then. He was shocked, coz he's now 16 - without a girlfriend and still a freshman in high school. "Oh, Teacher, you're living a good life. Studying for fun and dating." And it dawned on me, yeah! I am living a good life. Despite all the trouble and heartaches, I am actually living a good life. And it takes a 16 year-old to make me realize that.

The conversation ended with him, saying (about-the-silly-guy-misunderstanding) "I just hope next week you won't be crying. Please don't cry in my house." Which, when translated to a more thoughtful message, "Guard your heart. And be brave." I think that's what it means. I'd love to think it means that way.