Wala - Filipino word meaning "Nothing"
Background: My family is super-conservative. We never talk about crushes. I'm not too sure if we were allowed to have one then. But right now, as a single 32-year old mom of 2 boys you bet your pwet (arse) I'M SURE I am NOT allowed to have crushes in front of my mom. Yeesh.
I'm not too sure where I stand about kids' crushes.
When son the freshman was in kindergarten he said his teacher teased the kids on whose crush was who. I cringed when I first learned of it. They were pre-school for Chrissakes. But this teacher (the headmistress actually) was a smart, warm, wonderful mom with several advanced degrees in child development... so it took a little getting used to, and I just let it be. I pinned my hopes she knew what she was doing, because I hadn't the foggiest idea how to deal with it.
I am still clueless about it, but I do know that generally I would like to teach my sons to be respectful, no matter who has a crush on who.
Last week, 8year old and I talking and I mentioned the name of a girl-classmate. 8yo said “My classmates say that girl has a crush on me.”
I put on my best pokerface. Really…
But truthfully, her mom has good-humoredly told me that she’s so in-crush with my son in grade 1. Little girl talked incessantly about him over the summer break. She also wrote him a lot of pretend love-emails that time. It wasn't annoying because this little girl was modest about it, shy around him, really.
I didn’t tell my son about it because it’s… well… some girl things are sacred.
So I asked my son, What do you do when someone has a crush on you?
Still no answer. I said Wala. (translation: Nothing.) You will not do anything. You carry on as always. You will not be rude to a girl, you will always be polite. As you grow older, you will find some girls’ behavior crazy when they like you. But I expect you to do nothing, and still be polite.
Overkill? Ya, I know.
It’s just that I think crushes are the petri dish of future relationships. And they’re genetically pre-disposed to become male chauvinist pigs. Their spermdonor is a pig, their grandspermdonor was a pig, and Lord knows 1 of my grandfathers is a major porker – a rural legend with his impregnating women from every street in his small, sleepy town. With all due apologies to pigs, of course.
Friday that same week…
8yo reported he was also being teased that another classmate had a crush on him. He excitedly told this to his bro over dinner.
I raised my point again, this time for the benefit of freshman bro. Freshman bro has an “active lovelife” also. Yeah, I’m a big LOZER beside these two.
Remember what we talked about when girls have a crush on you? What will both of you do when someone has a crush on you?
“Pursue the girl!” freshman kidded.
EWW! Gross! That is so gurkish (an adjective I made up to pertain to all things macho-wacho, chauvinist, icky, gross and whatnot, based on their spermdonor’s nickname)
“I was just kidding!”
What? What do you do when you find out a girl is crushing you?
8 year old is quiet, lesson obviously forgotten.
What???, I pester.
“Run?” asks freshman
Clue. Starts with a letter W. 4 letters.
Both boys chorus – “Walk?”
WALA! WALA!! WALAAAAAAA!!!!! You don’t do anything!
Sigh. Should I even try at all???