Last week Braden came home from school with a hand-drawn picture of a rainbow stuffed in the very bottom of his backpack.  On the page was scribbled in pretty typical 1st grade writing, “Please stop chasing me Braden.”  No punctuation.  What did it mean, then?  Did Braden write it as in:  “Please stop chasing me. (signed)  Braden.”  Or did someone else write it to him as a request as in:  “Please (will you) stop chasing me, Braden.”  I was confused.

“What’s this, Buddy?” I asked.

“Nothing,” he responded quickly as he snatched the paper out of my hands.

“Is there a girl chasing you at school and you don’t like it?” I asked.

“No.  It’s nothing.”

“It’s obviously something, Buddy.  Someone took the time to write it.  Are you sure there isn’t a girl chasing you at school?”

“Fine.  No.  There’s not a girl chasing me.  Natalie wrote that to me.”

I was stunned.  My son was chasing a girl?  Really?  In a million years, it never occurred to me that my son would be chasing a girl!  You could’ve knocked me over with a feather!

“YOU were chasing NATALIE?” I exclaimed.  I just couldn’t believe it!

“Yeah.  And she didn’t like it so she wrote me a letter and asked me to stop.  Okay?”

Ummm…Okay.  Wow.  Braden chasing a girl.  Whodathunkit?

What is it with my children and chasing other children of the opposite gender?  As I was reflecting on Braden’s letter, I was reminded of a similar situation with his older sister when she was his age.

One morning, shortly after school had begun, Amber had donned this adorable long, straight, khaki skirt for school.  As she’s waiting for the bus to arrive, she began to running through the house.

“Amber, please stop running in the house,” I said to her.

“I have to,” she responded.  “I’m practicing.”

“What are you practicing?”

“Running.”

Okayyyy…that seemed pretty obvious, right?

“Why do you need to practice running?” I asked.

“I need to see how well I can run in this skirt.  And I can’t run very well in it!  It’s too straight!  Ugghhh!  Why did you buy me a skirt that I can’t run fast in?” she fumed.

Assuming that she was thinking about gym class and the need to run fast in PE, I said “Well, that’s okay.  You can take your skirt off for gym class and just wear the shorts you have on underneath.  Isn’t that what Mr. N told to do?”

“MOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM!” Amber exclaimed!  I don’t care whether I can run fast in gym class!  I need to be able to run on the playground, and I have to be able to run fast!

At this point, I’m a bit confused.  “Why do you need to run so fast?” I asked.

Amber released a long-suffering sigh and said “Cuz I have to run and catch the boys!!!”

Okay, then.  She certainly told me!

All of this brings me back to my original question:  what is it with my children and chasing other children of the opposite gender?  Is this normal?  I think I need to have another conversation with my mother-in-law because this is clearly not something passed down from my side of the family!