Oh my goodness. My boy and I did not get a chance to do a chalice lighting last night, but I got a rare chance to hang with him (or at least around him) on a daddy night.
At 13, Mythankfulboy is currently a heavenly, gangly, big-footed, hair-sprouting creature who reminds me frequently of a lab puppy. He is handsome and happy, curious and kind, fervent and friendly. I could just burst with pride if I spend too much thinking about it. Last night he and four friends went to a high school football game with four of us parents in tow. The spectacle of the evening was that one of the friends was attending the game with his new girlfriend, which wowed and weirded out his friends and tickled and mortified the rents. Around the margins one or another of the older boys (the group being a mix of 8th and 6th graders with a few 8th grade additions acquired at the game) made passing physical contact with one girl or another (was pushed or pulled along by the arm, had his hat taken and had to retrieve it, you get the picture). There was an accidental brush with a boob, which became an enormous joke for the evening, culminating in the boys lining up and, in a mock salute, each holding his left hand across the chest and over the left boob of the boy standing next to him (yes, we have pictures). Our boys seemed not only to take in stride that their parents were there, but enjoyed it, and brought us in on their hilarity.
I had had a very long day, following a night-time sleep study that turned into an unexpected whole-day-after sleep study followed by a seeing a few clients at the office. The decision to follow that by a 45-minute drive to a high school football game that I did not have to attend (it was neither “my night”, nor did the parents who were there need me) was made based on the opportunity to see my boy in a new, emerging world, and to soak up the experience. Turns out that he wanted me there. We gave the boys some rules about physical boundaries and some advice regarding social boundaries (don’t follow a crowd to see a fight, make sure your buddy doesn’t want your help if he seems ambivalent about a situation), and showed them that our boundaries were growing with them by showing them how hip we were with the whole girl-thing (despite the fact that one mom practically had her head between her knees to avoid throwing up from her realization of the way things were changing)…
Society tells us our teens won’t want us around. The message is not to hover or to crowd them, and to expect rejection. So far, mythankfulboy is quietly craving boundaries, and looks to me (and the other parents of his crew) for them. I won’t miss the opportunity to rise to this occasion.
After the game I dropped B off at his dad’s, and drove home with a big grin on my face. Thankful thankful. This parenting thing just keeps getting better.