Finding a Boyfriend for Mommy—by Jamie Levine
The other night while I was cuddling with my daughter, Jayda, before putting her to bed, she asked me, “What does ‘possible’ mean?” I answered that it was something ‘doable’ and explained, “for example, it is possible that you’ll do a great cartwheel in gymnastics tomorrow,” and then went on to add, “but it is impossible that you will fly like a butterfly—meaning it’s not doable.”
“But I can fly like a butterfly—at gymnastics, when they put me in that harness thing when I jump on the trampoline,” Jayda insisted.
“True,” I admitted. “Ok—let’s just say that anything is possible when you put your mind to it.”
“On that note…tell me…what do you want to be when you grow up?” I asked.
“I want to be a model who sings!” replied Jayda. “That way I can be a singer—and wear nice, fancy clothes all the time.”
This time, I smiled.
Then, suddenly, Jayda sat up and said, “Mommy—remember awhile ago we talked about me helping you find a new boyfriend? I need to do that!”
I laughed. “What’s your rush?”
“Well, we talked about it awhile ago…but I never helped you! I want to! We need to go somewhere soon to find him.”
Jayda doesn’t know this, but I’ve recently started dating someone whom I met online—who actually emailed me because he’d noticed me at my gym. When I read his email, I recognized him, and because I’ve always believed in my gut that I’ll meet the right guy for me “organically”—at a playground with Jayda, at a cocktail party, or at the gym—and not online, I immediately responded to his note. Clearly, this was more than an online connection—it was an organic one!
Because Jayda goes to the gym with me on the weekends and holidays, we’ve already bumped into this man a few times, so upon our first encounter, I introduced him to her as “my friend.” He charmed Jayda immediately by doting on her and making her laugh, and the next time Jayda saw him, she ran over to him to say “hello.” Of course, Jayda has no idea I’m romantically involved with this man, but her remarks about wanting to find me a boyfriend inspired me to ask her a few leading questions.
“Where do you think we should go to find me a boyfriend, Jayda?”
“I don’t know, Mommy—I’m just a kid!”
“What about the gym? Could we look there? Is there anyone we’ve seen there whom we should consider?”
“I don’t know, Mommy—because we always just talk to our friends. I’m not supposed to go up to strangers.”
“That’s true, Jayda—so are any of our friends possibilities?”
“I don’t know, Mommy—because some of them may be married and some of them may not like you that way, and some of them may not want to live with anyone!”
“What do you mean, ‘live with anyone’?”
“Well, if you get married, we’d have to move into his house, and we need to make sure that’s ok. Some people don’t want other people living in their houses!”
“Good point, Jayda. So, what does this guy have to be like for him to be my boyfriend?”
“Well, he has to be kind.”
“And he has to like kids—kids like me, and babies.”
“Well, when I have one, he has to like her! I may still be living with you guys.”
“Oh. Ok. But I thought you were going to be a singing model and that you’d be off on a runway somewhere.”
“Only once a month, Mommy. In Florida. But I’ll come back because I don’t want to miss my family.”
“I see. Ok…so can he have kids, too?”
“Yes—either my age, or older, if they like to play with me. And he should play with me, too. Especially if you have to work—he has to be around.”
“You’re right, Jayda—he needs to help take care of you. And what else should my boyfriend be like?”
“He should like to share. Because if he doesn’t have a lot of room in his house, you may have to sleep in his bed with him—like grandma and grandpa do.”
“Ahhhh…so he’ll have to want to share a bed with me? I see.”
“Either that, or just be a good sharer—maybe you can sleep in the bed one night and he’ll sleep on the floor…and then you’ll sleep on the floor one night so he can have the bed.”
“Excellent thinking, Jayda. We need a good sharer. Now, what kind of job should he have?”
“What kind of jobs do you like, Mommy?”
“Well that’s not so important…but I’d like him to work.”
“Yes—he should be a hard worker! Maybe he can own a candle store…with good smelling candles and he’ll give us a bunch of them for free!”
I smiled again.
“Anything else, Jayda? Personally, I think he should be funny, too,” I said, thinking about the man I was dating, who always makes me laugh.
“Well, maybe a little. He needs to know some knock-knock jokes—but that’s all!”
“Sure, Jayda,” I said. My gym guy has never told Jayda a knock-knock joke…so clearly she wasn’t even thinking about him. But that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that my daughter is looking out for me…and for herself…and she’s starting to learn what qualities make a man a good one for me—and for her: He needs to be kind and loving, and a good sharer, a hard worker, and someone who is fun to be around. So far, the man I’m dating fits her description quite nicely, but of course, it’s far too soon to know if anything will come of our new relationship—if you can even call it a relationship this soon. But I like the way Jayda is thinking…and I like the qualities I’m discovering in this man. From what little he’s seen of Jayda, he thinks she is amazing—and tells me that a lot. He’s kind, funny, and generous—and I have no doubt he’d be happy to share his bed with me. But I certainly won’t tell Jayda that…