the gregarious homebody

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Roots and Wings

Aren't they so friggin cute?

Some days it hits me more than others. My children are getting old. They've become individuals with their own thoughts, their own interests, their own lives. For the most part, this thrills me. I'm so happy to be able to say that I really like my kids. They both have a great sense of humor (very important) and they still like me (a real plus).

Last year was pretty hard with M. She was going through a lot of what turned out to be hormonal changes which made her a real bear to deal with. She's still only 9 1/2 years old but she's so mature physically that I think it was really hard for her to wrap her head around all the changes her body was going through and the weird feeling she was having. She was crying "for no reason," she was mean to me at times, and it often made me incedibly angry and broke my heart on behalf of both of us. I know there are tough times ahead again (I'm not looking forward to the middle school years for Maya or anyone in our family) but right now our relationship is in a kind of dream state--we really like to be together and she's much happier in her skin.

I'm trying to take advantage of this honeymoon period in that I talk to her about a lot of tough things--drinking, sex, and even god. I keep everything PG (ish), but I know in my heart that this is the time when I have influence with her, when I can help her understand what's right and wrong before she meets up face-to-face with these issues. When that happens, all I'll be able to do is to try to keep talking to her and to cross my fingers and trust that she makes the right decisions.

With S, everything after his infancy was easy. He's a nice boy who is conscious of what it means to be a good person. He is well-liked by all sorts of groups. He does well in school. He's almost 13, 5'7" (right this moment) and looks, but doesn't necessarily act, older than he is. He's also someone who keeps his feelings and thoughts close to his chest. I've always talked with (to) him about all the stuff M and I talk together about, but with him it's always been me talking and him being mortified/embarrassed/wanting to end the conversation.

Anyway, we came to find out (I asked and he actually answered) that he has his first girlfriend. And she's in 9th grade. Did I mention he's in 7th grade? My husband's first reaction was "That's my boy!" (he's a dumb boy too). Then we both thought "WHY would a girl that age want him?"

I alternated between a total panic that HH has to have the blow/hand job talk right now and thinking that this girl just must be extreeeeemely immature and maybe finds a younger boy less threatening. I decided to go to my Girls for advice. An informal poll revealed that they all thought it was WEIRD with one weighing in with "the girl's a skank." But I decided to let it play out a bit. She called a lot and he grunted to her. Emailing was done. And that's about it for the time being. I told him he was too young to date and he said he understood. "Just concentrate on being friends for now," I said. "Okay" was his only reply.

Am I overreacting? HH and I worry about saying too much about it lest we give off Annoying Parental Vibes so that S won't ever come to us and reveal anything ever again. I'm quite sure a lot of my worry is simply because my baby is turning a corner. I know that. But I can't let go of the idea that this cougar wants to try stuff out on my sweet/witless/nonthreatening son. I know this is the first of many tests for me as a parent. And I want to let my children make their own decisions, knowing that Mom and Dad are back here to help if they need it. My parents made a lot of mistakes (of course they did, being Human), but they let me make my own decisions (I honestly can't remember one single time in which they told me my decision was wrong. Wow.). I want to be that kind of parent, but holy shit is it hard to do.

What would you do?


Judy said...

I would hunt her down like a dog and say HANDS OFF and then make her move to the other side of the country.

She has no right to mess with our boy!! I hate her!! She's a neurotic loser!!!

I know that S is probably too simple to understand what's going on, so maybe a lot of this over his head. But it is NOT over MY head. She's almost as bad as Taylor.

Jules said...

7th grade is too young to have a girlfriend, let alone one in high school. Of course, I come from a crazed, strict Catholic upbringing. WTH do I know? I just know if it were Mikey or Nico I would say no girlfriends allowed until high school (barring something innocent if they were in the same class).

p.s. I know it's not appropriate to laugh, but I couldn't help it when I read the cougar line.

sparsely kate said...

Well I have no words of wisdom to give because I'm just starting it all myself - my daughter isn't 11 yet and has a crush on a 13 year old boy who catches her bus home. ARGH!

I loved the bit about how you recognise with your daughter that this is your window of opportunity to talk to her about so many things..before she gets old enough to decide she doesn't want to hear it from her Mum!

Gosh I can relate.

32point5 said...

Ugh, see this is specifically why I'm not having kids. At a "certain age" I would start to think...OMG I was doing this or that...then I would have to lock them in a closet till about 27!

I'm joking of course, I think. But seriously, you're an amazing parent in that you are very concerned about keeping the communication open with them. It's never easy to discuss the technical stuff, difficult for both of you. Trust me even at 35 and 62 it's stil embarassing! Good Luck! Cougar...snicker.


You have a very healthy outlook as a parent. KUdos to you for recognizing your children are people in their own right.

Even as a 20 yr old my Mother acted like she knew best and I was an idiot for having any views different than hers.She was quite overbearing and dominant.

jen said...

Well, thanks for all the encouragment! Other than Judy's psycho "hunt her down like a dog," (her son's future girlfriends are in trouble!!!!, I'm taking everyone's input to mean continue as I'm doing. Ugh. In other words, keep talking to the kid even when I'm not sure what the hell to say.


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