No, not the season, the girl.  But more on her in a minute. 

As a kid, I never understood Autumn.  No, not the girl, the season.  I always felt like Autumn was a waste of a perfectly good syllable.  Why say Au-tumn when you can just say Fall?  And what’s the deal with Fall getting an alter-ego, anyway?  It’s like the Bruce Wayne of seasons.  “Look at me!  I’m Fall!  Oh wait…now I’m Autumn!  Autumn, Fall.  Fall, Autumn.  I’m a seasonal doppelganger!” 

It’s not as though the other seasons get special treatment.  You’d never hear Winter say, “Call me Frostina!”  No, Winter is perfectly content with the name she was given.  She’s not pretentious, like Aut…uh, Fall.  No silent n’s for her, no sirree.  And Summer is perfectly happy being Summer, even though Summer tends to make people pit out.  You’d think Summer would want to change his name: 

Random guy at Starbucks: “Hey, aren’t you Summer?  Thanks a lot for ruining my silk Tommy Bahama shirt when I was in high school.  Those pit stains never came out!” 

Summer (ordering a Mint Chip Frappuccino): “Uh, hey man, you’ve got the wrong season.  I’m not Summer.  I’m…um…I’m Junoween.  I’m the harbinger of vacations!” 

And don’t even get me started on Spring.  Spring is the least conceited of all seasons.  Autumn should strive to be like Spring. 

So anyway, back to Autumn.  No, not the season, the girl.  (Honestly, try to keep up.) 

Yesterday morning, during the weekday torture that we call Getting Ready For School, my wife slides up beside me while I’m at the kitchen sink and says, “Your son has something to tell you.” 

Of course, it’s almost never a good thing when one of our boys becomes “my son.”  “My son” is always the kid who eats an entire box of Reese’s Puffs in one sitting.  “My son” tends to leave his bike out in the rain.  Just once I’d like to have “my son” make a positive contribution to society, such as performing an emergency tracheotomy on a choking woman in McDonalds using nothing but a plastic straw and those weird little spoons they give you with a McFlurry. 

So anyway, “my son,” – in this case, my first grader – had something to say.  So I asked him to follow me to his room.  We sat on his bed, and I said, “Jase, do you have something you need to tell me?” 

Suddenly a 92 inch grin covered his skinny little eight inch face.  He doubled over giggling, face down on the bed, and mumbled, “I have a girlfriend.” 

Now let’s stop and think about this for just a minute.  This kid can’t consistently put his underwear on the right way.  But he’s started a relationship.  With a woman. 

I pumped him for a few details, which weren’t hard to get out of him.  If you haven’t guessed by now, her name is…you guessed it…Junoween.  She was in his kindergarten class and is now in his first grade class.  He even brought out last year’s yearbook to show me her picture, and I have to tell you, “my son” has good taste.  She’s cute. 

This is a first for us, even though he has two older brothers.  These are two boys who, even under the threat of Chinese chopstick torture by Jack Bauer, would never divulge that (a) they have a girlfriend, (b) they want a girlfriend, or (c) that girls even exist in their world, and the ones who do have rabies.  But no, my first grade player is out participating in the elementary school version of  I just hope she’s not a first-grade floozy who’s just out to break his heart. 

This whole situation does provide somewhat of a difficult scenario, because it’s a well-known fact that we’ve already betrothed Jase to marry the youngest daughter of our friends and small group leaders.  Emma’s daddy is a lawyer, so I’ve been looking forward to the food at the wedding reception for the last six years.  And besides the endless supply of gourmet meatballs that await, Merriem and I just really like Emma and think our two families could be great in-laws.  Unless the other kid’s daddy is a cardiologist.  In that case, I could learn to love Autumn. 

The girl, not the season.