As soon as T spotted mommy, she excitedly ran towards her with open arms. Wasting no time, mommy bent low to pick her up. Then in quick succession, mommy smiled, T smiled and the teacher smiled.

Next, mommy asked the teacher all the necessary questions about T’s day. Following the satisfactory responses given, she set T back on her feet before moving on to sign the pick-up register.

Then it was time to go and as she routinely did, mommy told T to say goodbye to the class. And, that was when the drama began!

You see it was T’s custom to simply accompany her goodbyes with a lingering wave of her right palm. But today, amid her wave, T suddenly and mysteriously took off and her destination only became clear when she came to a sudden halt next to Q, another kindergatner who happened to be a boy. Next, without any preamble, T leaned in for a close hug which was readily reciprocated by Q.

Stunned, mommy’s disjointed thoughts went from ‘Who is this boy?’ to ‘Where in the world did he come from?’ to ‘Come on T, whatever happened to the good old hi-fives and wave of the hands?’ However before she could string together any logical sentence, Q rewarded T’s gesture with a sloppy kiss on the cheek which in return brought out a sparkly smile from T. A smile that clearly marked her as the willing star of the entire drama.

By now mommy’s mind had gone more irrational with thoughts such as, ‘Wait a minute, why didn’t you smile this wide when I hugged you moments ago and besides, isn’t it way too early for blushes from kisses?’  However when satisfactory answers refused to crop up, mommy became officially too bewildered to nurse any more wild thoughts as T, who was totally oblivious of her concerns, ran back towards her, leaving Q to return to his game of cars.

Interestingly, the teacher was all smiles. Clearly, she saw the exchange as nothing but cute, hence making mommy feel the need to reprimand because to her Q was not just a little kindergartner; he was a carrier of the macho male hormones which had the power to one day transform him from a harmless little boy into the very ‘forbidden’ sex.

Really, her daughter had to be properly guided, the teacher had to be cautioned and Q had to be warned off.

Now, fortunately, before mommy’s unfounded words had a chance to pour out, her eyes rested on T’s and the innocence that burned through brought her lips back together. She shifted her gaze to Q who, hard at play, was totally oblivious of her stare. Then, it was at that moment that she realized that carelessly she had almost robbed her kid of the innocence she herself had lost to the years. The truth was that right now, T was too blissfully and beautifully naive to look at Q through the corrupted lens that time had armed mommy’s eyes with. You see, when she looked at Q all she saw was a friend who liked jumping as high as she did, running as far as she did and laughing as hard as she did.

And whether mommy believed it or not, as of today, all the pair shared was a safe, unpretentious friendship where nothing was skin deep and everything was exactly as it seemed. A kiss on the cheek was only a kiss on the cheek. A hug was only a hug. A smile was only a smile.   

True, sometime tomorrow, all that innocence will be gone and necessary precautions will have to be put in place. But as of today, T was in the middle of a beautiful, selfless friendship that was too pure and too young to get clouded by guile.

So smiling, mommy reached for T’s hand and together, they walked away.

 

Facts to chew on…

Children are great imitators, they copy what they see. So, avoid exposing them to sexual activities, whether between you and your husband or on any form of media. Also in early childhood, even before the real sex education begins, children should be taught that their body is their own and deserves some privacy.

In addition, staying close to your kid will also create an atmosphere for openness where he/she will innocently report anything ‘new’ which you as a parent can then identify and subsequently treat as appropriate or inappropriate. Lastly, though there will be times (such as during school hours or work hours) when you have to be apart from your kid, still endeavour to find ways of staying involved in their daily activities so that strange developments don’t go unnoticed. 

(Picture courtesy: 123rf.com, gettyimages, islandlivingwhatbringsmejoy.blogspot, singleparents.about.com, dfashioncity.com, dreamstime.com)