My youngest has followed in her big sister’s footsteps, developing an interest in all that involves teen idols on the Disney Channel.
Every once in a while, I will buy her big sister, who is a preteen, one of the magazines at the grocery store - the “Tiger Beat” of my generation. Days later, I will see her little sister poring over it with laser-like concentration.
“Mom (her newest thing, she graduated from Mommy just recently), can you believe Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez are still in love?” she said.
I decided to take the opportunity to talk to her about the issue.
“What is love?” I asked.
“I’ve never actually been in love before,” she said in her husky eight-year-old voice, “but I think I’ll know it when I feel it.”
“What do you think the most important qualities are in someone you love?”
“He has to be nice. That’s the most important thing. Then funny, smart, and if he’s cute, that’s nice too, but that’s not No. 1,” she said, having lost interest in the magazine. She was now fashioning a toilet paper sarong around her Barbie.
“That’s a good list. When do you think it will happen, love that is?”
“Fifteen,” she replied without missing a beat.
Your father might have something to say about that, I thought silently.
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including two on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.