When they're little, your children believe the sun rises and sets on mom's opinion. A good one will have them smiling for hours; a bad one will leave them in tears. As your children grow, they are so busy living and learning life that you become super busy just trying to stay a part of their life. You don't realize that they're asking for your opinion less and less. Until they ask for it again.
The teenager walked into the room recently, sat (read: plopped) down next to me on the sofa, laid his head on my shoulder and asked if I could take him to a very specific store that day. There was a necklace he wanted very much to buy, and Mom... it's only about $3! After Dad got done with the standard Dude, we aren't here just to bankroll your life spiel, my son whispered just low enough for me to hear him It's for Mouse. (Sidenote: Mouse is his new girlfriend. Apparently, when she's surprised, she squeaks like a mouse. His story, his permission to call her that here.) So, naturally. I caved and we went shopping.
He explained that he had a very specific necklace in mind, and he thought it was on sale. Once we got into the store, however, he couldn't fnd it. And it was pointed out to him by me that the sale sign actually read Buy One, Get One 50% Off!. At which point he gave me his patented dimple-laden grin that gets him out of almost anything with a shrug of his shoulders, and started looking at other items of jewelry.
Mom, what do you think of this one? So I asked him to really think about how well he knew her. Does she like "busy" necklaces like that, with so many pendants on them?
How 'bout this one?
Well, how would she feel about having something that tight on her neck?
The next one he just held up for me to see.
Um... I think it might be too long. It would hang to her belly button, and she doesn't strike me as a girl who enjoys jewelry like that.
At one point, when he asked me what I thought of one, I asked HIM what HE thought. He looked at me and said That's why I asked YOU. I want YOUR opinion. After I managed to reassemble myself into a mom again from the puddle of gooey-ness that statement had turned me into, we continued looking and talking about the kind of jewelry Mouse wears. And we ended up looking at a very nice, understated, not busy at all fabric bracelet with a silver heart on it. I mentioned that I would love it, and he said that he thought she'd like it, too. That's what we walked out of the store with.
My boy's first gift to his new girlfirend is going to be something I helped him pick out. And he's giving it to her in a little gift box that I managed to successfully make pretty and crafty over the weekend.
Who knew how important it would make me feel to be included again in the major highlights of his life?