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Sex Ed. 101 - is friending a girl the same as girlfriending?

It's been a week since Tio has been trying to define love and why he should have a girlfriend. Last night we talked about the ideas he'd had and what he thought. In the end he couldn't define the diffence between love and a strong friendship. Not surprising, as most adults have a hard time with that one, too. In fact, lots of adults don't think that one has anything to do with the other - but that's a different story.

The point of this exercise was to get him thinking and find a place where he can start to explore an emotional relationship and I can be comfortable knowing it won't get out of hand. I did most of the talking, needless to say, to impress upon him that this is complicated and the beginning of a lifelong effort to relate to the opposite sex. I don't want him getting off on the wrong foot, getting deeply hurt, hurting someone else, or (gulp) getting prematurely sexually active. I told him I want him to understand and respect girls better than most guys seem to. I want he to know that I'm not trying to keep him from girlfriending, but make sure it is a positive, and appropriate, experience.

All the while that we talked, the rest of the house was quiet. Too quiet. I made loud jokes with Doc about not giving Kit dessert and sending him to bed early and still no peep. I knew he wasn't far off listening intently. Finally, Doc spotted him in the corner with a book.

"I was reading," he insisted.
"Me, too," said I.
"Me, too," said Tio.
"Seriously," Kit protested, "I was reading!"
"Me, too," Doc piped up.

Later, at the ball game, I told Kit I was glad he was listening and asked if he understood any of it.
"No," he said, "A little,maybe."

The big test will be tomorrow when I tell Tio I want him to write out what he thought I was telling him. Then we'll know who was really paying attention.