Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Son's Girlfriend

There is no such person, for now, but I can dream, can't I?

Husband 2.0 is now the 15-year-old's confidante, and all he'll tell me is that there is a girl David likes, and he's asked for some advice. When I oh-so-subtly asked Scott (a.k.a. 2.0) for more details (I think I pounced on him and said, "Spill it!"), he told me I was nosy. As if that was news? But I realized it's less about my natural curiosity, and more about my own situation - I'm the lone female in a sea of testosterone, and I need reinforcements!

I have this lovely fantasy of family dinners & movie nights where the girlfriend(s) are comfortably integrated into our circle and I no longer have to borrow the neighbor girls to have a dose of femininity around the house. Meanwhile, it is fascinating to see how differently my sons both approach romance. When David was in 7th grade, he decided to like the popular cheerleader, who was rude to him and whom all his friends liked for similarly silly reasons. And I had to hear about it from Scott, after the fact. However, Ben, who is now in 7th grade, is much more up front. He told me about the girl he liked, and he likes her because she's nice and funny and talented, and not particularly popular, and he even asks me for advice about what to say to her. (Of course, dating in 7th grade is mostly a question of saying you're going with someone and texting each other, but it's still fun to talk to him about it.)

Okay, I have to admit, it's not just longing for more female energy that has me following my sons' dating lives - Part of me wants to heal my own socially frustrated adolescence, just like a frustrated performer turns into a stage mother or a deprived child grows up to be an overindulgent parent. I still bear the scars from 7th grade, when I asked the boy I liked if he wanted to dance, and his response was, "Yes, I want to dance, but not with you." And my only real teen romance was when I was 16 - we'd gone to debate camp together, he was in my brother's hebrew school class, and his mother was my sister's therapist. He'd drive me home after a hot date at the symphony or a chess tournament, I'd come in about 2 hours later and tell my mother we'd been talking the whole time. To give you an idea of how geeky I was, my mother believed me - to give you an even better idea, it was true!

It's not even about making up for my own pain, but wanting to spare my boys heartache, and hoping they know what it's like to love and be loved. I'm blissfully happy with Husband 2.0 (and I had a few deliciously romantic months with the boy from hebrew school - I still have the Ray Bradbury books he gave me!), so I know how wonderful it will be when they do connect with a girlfriend who adores them even half as much as I do. And if she'll go shopping with me, that's even better!

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