My boy may just be experiencing his ‘first love’, and if I’m honest, neither of us are really ready.
If I’d known that sending him to a new school would expose his innocence to the wiles of flirtatious teenage girls so obviously on a mission to twist the hearts of innocent young men, I might have reconsidered.
Of course I knew that it would happen one day but with his ADHD and its implications in terms of his maturity, I honestly believed that I still had a few more years of him being all ‘mine’.
You see, we didn’t really go through what Steve Biddulf said we would in ‘Raising Boys; he never did truly reach out towards the old man in search of a meaningful testosterone bond around the age of twelve and discard me, so I’ve become accustomed to him ‘involving’ me in every aspect of his life. And I rather like it.
He’s always been my boy; a Mummy’s boy.
But he is now in the process of de-Mumming me and I’m not quite ready to be replaced by some brazen fifteen year old with pert breasts; who probably doesn’t use the ‘no’ word as effectively as I do.
I know I shouldn’t really blame the school. For the first time in his school life, he seems genuinely happy. But with a ratio of girls to boys of 6:1, (once you exclude the guys who have made it quite clear that they prefer dancing to AFL), he never really stood a chance.
He assures me that he and this girl are just friends, yet he spends every waking moment writing and waiting for her texts, snap chats and Facebook messages.
He has even washed his hair twice this week, something I’ve been working towards for the past month. If he starts wearing deodorant, I may have to starve myself in protest……..or at least give up Oreos for a day.
He assures me that she’s out of his league, that he is boxing above his weight and doesn’t stand a chance, yet that hasn’t prevented him from falling for her charms hook, line and sinker. It hasn’t stopped him trying. Or hoping.
Even I get tense when she doesn’t text back IMMEDIATELY.
I worry about how he will handle a relationship. I worry about his impulsiveness, that he’ll say the wrong thing, or something highly inappropriate without realizing it. He’s still so amateur at reading social clues and finds the implications of texts so hard to decipher. I worry that it won’t work out with this girl and then he won’t want to go back to this new school like all the others.
I want to protect him from this ‘first love’ because the potential for hurt is so much greater for him.
But for the first time I can sense that he is not telling me everything, that he is excluding me. And it hurts me because I know that he may get hurt.
I have thought about a strategy for creating some distance between them. Maybe I could buy back his love by taking him to Maccas this weekend, maybe even allow him a Coke if I have to. But then I realized how immature that was. (Actually the old man pointed that out). And anyway, he may be too busy to come to Maccas with me. If he’s with HER.
The old man warned me that this day would come, the day when I’d have to let go. But of course I chose not to listen. I’m simply not ready.
When he does let me in and describes their puerile nicknames for each other to me, I want to spit, not share in his happiness.
Even I recognize that that’s not normal. What happened to the idea of parental love being unconditional and all that gumpf the parenting books force-fed us with?
He’s mine. I created him, I’m the one who has dealt with his issues for all his fifteen years, I’m the one he has sought for reassurance in his moments of crisis, the one he has said ‘love you, Mum’ to, every night since he could speak; no matter how serious the tantrum that preceded it.
I get him. I understand how his ‘difference’ works. I know that he might get hurt and he isn’t ready. He doesn’t get it.
She doesn’t know him like I do. She doesn’t understand his sensitivity, his mood swings, his inability to read social clues and his compulsion for eating cereal all day.
I bet she’s never even considered the serious implications of mixing different textures of food on a plate.