There are certain things you learn as a mother, things you learn to just not do. Want a holiday with no runny noses or pukey tummies? Simply don't comment on how healthy you all seem to be this year. Want to ensure potty training goes as quickly as possible, with the fewest amount of accidents? Just don't tell your mother-in-law how smoothly things are progressing. Want a truly beautiful family picture? Don't comment on how fortunate you are that your kids don't seem to be the sort that walk into flying footballs or forcefully kicked soccer balls.
Want to ensure that your teenager suddenly and heartbreakingly finds himself no longer in a relationship he was really happy in, with a girl he really liked? Just make sure the entire world, complete with all the Internets, knows how much you like that girl.
I got home from work tonight, and Coach asked me if Jock had filled me in yet about The Girlfriend. Now, I'm no dummy. When asked a question like that, I'm quite aware of what the answer will be. And still I went and asked Jock. Immediately. (Only taking just enough time to actually finish changing my clothes from work, because really.... what kid wants to talk to his mom while she's half dressed?)
Me: So.... what happened today?
Jock: With baseball?
Me: Sure, lets start there. And then work our way back to your girlfriend.
Jock: Well, she's not anymore.
Let me tell you that my kid is a master at delivering lines like that with very little emotion. It's freaky, really. And then he proceeded to tell me what happened. She was kind about it, I suppose. Telling him that he deserved a girlfriend who was better than she could be. She told him that he's really the perfect boyfriend, treating girls the way they want to be, and should be, treated. She told him everything but the real reason she was breaking up. Because really, who breaks up with someone because he's an absolutely awesome boyfriend? No, there's something else going on, and for whatever reason she's not being completely truthful. (I will say that I don't think it's anything awful, like another person is involved. But I do think that she's somewhere inside herself where she doesn't feel deserving of a great boyfriend.) When asked how baseball was later, he said it sucked. Because he couldn't concentrate. And my heart broke for him. Just simply broke. This wasn't like any previous reaction to losing a girlfriend. This one hurts him. When I went to tell him goodnight, I gave him a tight hug, holding him for a minute or two longer than usual, and asked him if he was going to be ok.
I don't know. Guess we'll see tomorrow.
All I can do in the meantime is to love him a little more, support him a lot more, and encourage him to focus on other things. Well, that and make his favorite dinner. Which I did, because the guilt over this just killed me.