Monday, June 20, 2011

Teenage dating.


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.

By themselves.

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.

(Guess.)


13 comments:

  1. oh how I feel you on this. My oldest is not much older than yours. I had the same reaction you did but let him go. Now I am just really worried about when my girls get to be that age.. wonder if I will let them go... probably not.

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  2. I agree with you - he has to be too young! But I also have to agree that you have raised one awesome young man. I also agree with your bro's comment about yourself!

    I can only pray that might kids turn out like the pal 10 years from now....

    The Babysitter

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  3. My daughter was 15 when she asked to go out on her first date...with a boy we had never met. After much talking and hand wringing, we decided he could come to supper and spend the evening. Then and ONLY THEN if we approved they could go out to a movie sometime. He was such a wonderful guy and so sincere that after supper, we let them go to the movies...He was 16 and drove a vintage '65 Mustang Fastback...what WERE we thinking? But you know what, that was 18 years ago. They got married when they were 20 and have been married 13 years and have given us two beautiful grandchildren and not one single moment of problems!!

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  4. It's not easy. My daughter is 17 and it gets harder every day!

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  5. I just have been going thru this myself when my 16 year old is now behind the wheel. I am so scared I can only respond with "NO!" but like you, I am understanding much of it is me, and probably a bit of control issues. So, I am with you, if I bit my fingernails I would have no fingernails today.

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  6. i don't even want to think about when my 13 yr old son starts dating. omgsh.

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  7. Oh that reminds me of my teenage years, when my parents gave me such a hard time when I started dating!! My little sister had a far easier time of it than I did - I went through all the battles, and she sailed through easily six years later! LOL

    Having said that I am dreading my daughters becoming teenagers!!... Some way off yet!....Thankfully!...

    :)

    Annette

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  8. Oh, I know my tender-hearted lovey-M. You totally cried.

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  9. The only thing more difficult is letting your DAUGHTER date; trust me. *sigh

    ~mom of 2 girls & 2 boys

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  10. You did right, because I think I would if that realization had hit me. I already think about those years and wonder and my oldest is 7 years old, ha!
    They always say the teenage years make the baby years look easy, is it true? I love the baby stage though so I am guessing it is.

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  11. My Jonathan is about to turn 22, so it hasn't been that long ago....I let him date at 15 as well. Well, as much as you can actually date with your mom dropping you off and picking you up. He was shy and nervous all his teen years and then at 18...HE MET...THE "SHE" DEVIL! Warning bells were sounding like a city siren...they married two months after he turned 20; against my pleading for them to wait; and in 9 months they were divorcing. He now listens a little more, but to be honest, we all have to make mistakes to grow. Have the Hankie ready and know that he will as well. Blessings with your new adventure!

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  12. You are brave.

    Growing up it was NO!!! Not until you are out of HS. Well, it got revised to either 18 or out of HS which ever came first (because you see...I turned 18 a month after my Senior year started, and my two sister's would graduate before turning 18). Let's just say it was actually wonderful. We all spent our time on school work and the rule will apply to my boys when they are older.

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  13. Awwwwwwww!!!! I am sooooooo not ready for teen years! GAH!

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I love comments! And, I welcome your thoughts that aren't in agreement with mine...as long as they are respectful!

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