I already know I’m going to be one of those parents. One of those…an overprotective, over-intrusive mom who asks inappropriate questions and embarrasses her kids. I can feel it. I’m trying to fight the urge. I’m trying to take a deep breath and think it through. Think before I speak, sort of thing. But my 12-year-old son likes a girl in his English class. He started it. He can’t just say something like that and expect that I won’t have a gazillion questions about her. About them. Are they even a ‘them’?
I’m in uncharted territory here. I mean, I was 12 once. I get it. I remember how it felt to crush on someone. But now I’m a mom. And I know I’m about to go into a phase of motherhood that I’m not looking forward to: letting the kids grow up. Letting them become independent of me and their dad. Spreading their wings. I get it. But Lord Almighty, it’s hard.
A few weeks back he asked if they could walk to the park together. Walk to the park? Alone? Who’s going? Just the two of them? What are they gonna do at the park? Talk? Ride the swings? Hold hands? My GOD…hold hands?! “Mom, I’m only 12.” Whew. No hand holding. So no kissing then. Good. But it had to be said. “No kissing.”
And now I’m like a ninja, sneaking around my house, trying to hear what they’re talking about – because you know…she’s here. Right now. And guess what? They just went upstairs. UP-friggin-STAIRS!
I’m cool. I got this. I’m not gonna run up after them and cause a scene. I’m not gonna embarrass my boy. Right? I’m telling myself I’m not gonna do it. I’m fighting the urge to be that mom. So I whisper for girlie. She’s in the next room. I can’t yell her name, or they’ll know I sent her. Psssssst. Oh my God – she can’t hear me. PSSSSST!
My husband thinks I’m nuts. “Leave ’em alone. They’re fine.” WHAT?
Finally, she turns around and sees the look on my face, so she runs over to me. “Hey, go upstairs…see if the kids want cookies.” She looks at me, “Mom, you want me to spy on them, I know you do.” Um duh. Yes, yes I do. She starts to run upstairs and I loud whisper, “Take the cookies!”
Later, after the ‘date’ was over, and she’d thanked me for having her over, skipped down the walkway to her dad, who was clearly as anxious as I had been, waiting in the car, with a worried look on his face, I smiled. I survived. There was a girl in his room, and I handled it. I didn’t freak out. I didn’t cause a scene. And yes, truth be told, I did manage to sneak up there to see for myself. The door was open. He was strumming the guitar and she was sitting on the edge of his bed blushing. Innocent. Like he had said before, “Mom, I’m only 12.”
But I know it’s happening. I know soon he’ll be old enough to date. I know this is the beginning of my heart aching. Aching because I love him so much. Aching because I know I’m not going to be his only girl forever. Aching because I know the road he’s heading down and it’s going to be filled with joy as well as sadness. He will at some point, get his heart broken. It will hurt like hell. And as his mom, I’ll hurt like hell for him.
If only he could just stay 12. Stay in this moment. Freeze time and just be my boy. Mine. My boy. I’m not ready.
So please, at least for now my dear boy – leave the girl, take the cookies.