Some (nick)names in today’s post have been changed in order to keep the peace in my house.
Yesterday afternoon somebody‘s boyfriend came over to “study.” I went down to the basement freezer to get some chicken for dinner and I caught them kissing. So I yelled, “Fire!” and then sent Kids D and E down there to annoy them/ make sure I don’t become a grandma just yet until dinnertime.
I think back to when I was “going out” with boys in middle school. My mom and dad always wanted to know where we were going (dorks!). Maybe we would talk on the phone, but usually they would come to my locker after school or walk me to my school bus. We would write notes to each other and pass them in class or in the hallways. It really was innocent enough. Then I thought about my boyfriends in high school and how I would have them come over while I was babysitting my little sisters and we would make out and my right eye started twitching again and I got all sweaty and threw up a little in my mouth. I am not ready for any of this.
Because times they are a-changin’ and my kids are growing up and I know that we are just on the cusp of “real” love and real broken hearts and real decisions that can affect their lives in so many ways. Did I teach them clearly enough that Edward and Bella’s relationship was obsessive and overly dependent and not a healthy connection? Do the girls really understand that boys think about sex all the time and The Secret Life of the American Teenager, while very poorly acted, is not so far from reality? Have I talked to them openly enough about sexuality and morality that they will make good decisions and not end up starring in an episode of 16 and Pregnant? Am I successfully doing these things on an ongoing basis? Will they come to me and Sheepdog if they have questions or fears or if they need guidance or advice? Did Sheepdog spend enough time with the girls so that they don’t go looking for attention from inappropriate boys? These are some of the things that keep me up at night.
I hope that we continue to face new situations as they happen with reasonableness and humor and understanding. I remember my father-in-law calling the back room of their house the Petting Room when Sheepdog’s little sister was a teenager. It’s not that he was encouraging them. In fact, I think he was doing just the opposite by putting all of his cards on the table. He was reminding everyone that he knew how teenagers think with their tingly parts, and then he randomly checked on them in there to make sure that everyone was keeping their tingly parts to themselves.
After her boyfriend went home I asked somebody if she had a fun afternoon. She smiled and said that she had a really great day. Then she thanked me for being pretty cool about walking in on them kissing. So I let myself breathe a sigh of relief about just this one of many situations to come.
And then I made a mental note to NEVER have any of my daughters babysit while they have boyfriends in high school. Just in case.
Wish me luck for tomorrow…