A couple of weeks ago, I sent out a desperate tweet. I was in a conundrum and I didn't know what to do (and, you know, Twitter is the best parenting expert, so of course I went there first...). The Pal, who is 15, wanted to go on a date.
With a girl.
To a movie.
Of course, my immediate reaction was a quick and hasty, "No. You're too young.", after all, it was just yesterday that I was changing his diapers and rocking him to sleep, right?
His question got me thinking, tho. I started to reconsider my knee-jerk response and to question whether or not he really was "too young". So, I sent out a text to my big brother and to the Pal's dad...they, too, had immediate responses.
Only, they were not the same as mine!
GAH!! You mean, could I *gasp* possibly (the horrors!!!) be wrong (why, I never...)?!?!?! Almost instantaneously I received responses like, "LET HIM GO!!!" (Yes, all caps...well, okay, not really, but I interpreted it like that. In reality, they're guys...there is no such thing as talking in ALL CAPS!!!!!) and "Time to let go of the proverbial bike seat...".
And so, I handled it like every first time parent of a teenager who wants to go on a date...I paced, and cried, and wrung my hands, and hmmmm'd and haaaaaa'd, and debated, and fretted, and thought up every single stinkin' possible thing that COULD HAPPEN while they're at the movie.
My brother and I discussed needing to allow him some trust...I agreed, he has NEVER (ever, ever, never, ever, ever) given us a reason to NOT trust him. Both men (for the record, Mr. Wonderful was on the road, unable to be privvy to this epic text-a-thon) reminded me that it won't be too terribly long, and my sweet, fuzzy headed, milk breathed, neck-lint collecting baby would be driving (can it really be?!), and wouldn't it be better to "test" these waters before he can do it on his own?
I found myself realizing that my "trust issues" lie with the 15 year old ME. The boy crazy, slightly wild, enjoyed a good time, not always entirely honest, teenage ME that I didn't want my son to become (you know, minus the boy crazy part...although, I would still love him and accept him if he was...). I said as much to my big brother, who proceeded to say something that made me cry:
"She was pretty trustable, I think. And besides, look what a wonderful person she turned out to be. :-)"
Who knew my big brother shoulda been a Hallmark Card writer?! Big dummy...made me stand there in my kitchen, swiping tears off my face, laughing at myself, and realizing it's time for me to let my chubby cheeked, cooing, chunky legged baby start to grow up.
And so, that night, I dropped him off at the movie theater...and you can't make me tell you if I cried on the way home or not.