Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I don't know if times have changed significantly since I was 13 - significant enough to raise my eyebrows at the situation I found myself in earlier this evening.  I have a son, who is about to have his 14th birthday.  He's always been interested in girl, even from toddler-hood.  So it has been no real big deal to me whenever I'd overhear him talking about this girl or that girl to his buddies.  For most of his life, he had been raised in a strict Christian household and had gone to a strict Christian school.  When I divorced his father six years ago, I decided I wanted my son to go to public school; it took four years to do this, but this year will be his third year at public school.

I've never been worried about him getting involved with the wrong crowd or smoking, drugs and alcohol.  I believe his foundation is strong and he has never done anything to betray my trust.  That's why I'm okay with him having a girlfriend at this age, as long as I can monitor the relationship by allowing he and his friends (yes, girls as well) to socialize in my home.  I can keep an eye on he and his friends without feeling intrusive.

Our neighbors, however, would like nothing better than to convince my husband and I to forbid my son from hanging out a couple of his friends who have a unique style of expressing themselves; long black hair that hang over their faces, skinny jeans (usually black), and even eye-liner now and then.   Yes, to look at these boys, you would think "a little eccentric." I took their empty concerns into consideration and spoke to the boys to let them know in no uncertain terms that disrespect for the homeowners on the street will not be tolerated, and if I witness undesirable behaviour, they would not be allowed to hang out with my son.  Since then, I have become the den mother to the whole gang.  I love the fact that the boys all feel comfortable enough with me to permit themselves to be themselves.  They know there is no judgement in this house.

What I wasn't expecting, though, was to have the little girl my son was "seeing" befriend me on Facebook so she could seek my advice.  It seems she told the boys something that wasn't true in order to gain attention from them, and this rumour she started about herself immediately ruined her reputation with my son and his friends.  Not only that, her parents found out about it, so she is devastated, humiliated and ashamed.  Desperately needing an adult (and maybe she chose this adult because I'm the mother of the boy she adores), she told me all the details.  Without getting any deeper into the details, I assured this confused young Christian lady that things will work out if she handles the situation the proper way, and that all of this will pass and be forgotten one day.  She said that the few kind words I offered her gave her the courage she needed to do what she had to do.

I was a 13 year old girl at one time, and I remember how very difficult that age is for girls.  All of this interaction with the kids got me thinking how lucky, blessed, fortunate - whatever - I am to have the privilege to be involved in my son's life at this level.  I feel responsible for his friends when they visit, and I think about them when they aren't around.  They open up to me about their family life, their school life, relationships, and anything else that is on their minds, so their problems become my own in a small way.

It makes me think about how very integral the parents of a friend of mine was in my teen years.  I literally wouldn't have been able to get through some situations were it not for the love and concern of virtual adult strangers and the small role they played in my life.  It is my hope that all parents be solid as a rock to their children, but more than that, a small stepping stone to their children's friends.  It may change a life.

I'll talk at ya tomorrow,


Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments: