There's a shockingly large amount of information that is never given to you as a parent. Things you just have to discover on your own, and then just....wing it. Turns out that I? Haven't quite figured out yet if I'm any good at winging it. It might be helpful if I figured that out soon, as I'm almost out of time with the teenager; and would like to confidently make some decisions with Bug.
For example, no one ever tells you how to handle your child dating. They (I'm still wondering just who the heck "they" are, and just how "they" got their credentials...) tell you allllll about puberty, and it's effects on your child's physical, mental and emotional states. But no one ever tells you just how YOU are supposed to cope with those effects. It's one thing to know your son has a girlfriend. It's quite another when he's dating.
Yes, I know that sounds strange and backwards. Try to stay with me, here.
When your teenage son has a girlfriend, you have the comfort of knowing that he's convinced himself that he cares for someone. There is a strange sort of mellowness you feel as a mother knowing that he's emotionally invested in someone. This way, if something of a physical nature should happen between them, at least they care about each other. Right?
But when your teenage son is dating, then you start to worry about whether or not you've somehow let loose into the world some testosterone driven, cleavage obsessed, one track minded man-whore in the making. And it doesn't matter how respectful and well mannered your son is normally. You just know, deep in your heart where all mama insecurities reside, that it could happen. And so naturally, you freak the heck out every time he says Mom, can I borrow the car tonight? I have a date.
You also find yourself saying things and asking questions that you NEVER expected to hear come out of your mouth. Things like Sweetheart, I think dating Mouse first this time around is a good idea. But until you both have been committed to each other for a while, like---a few month's worth of a while, just don't sleep with her. Unless it's too late for that request. It's not too late, right? You would tell me if it was, right?
All I can say is Thank GOD he looked me straight in the eye and told me it wasn't too late, and agreed that yes, he WOULD tell me. Because I have not quite figured out how I'm going to calmly accept when that changes. Not the telling me part. I'm fairly confident that he'll always tell me when I ask. It's the not too late part I'm freaking out about.
Some things? You just can't wing without a little preparation.