I'm Glad He's NOT Dating Her
My son is 12. And he's "dating." He has a "girlfriend" which is not to be confused with a girl who is a friend (he's has those too).
As a late bloomer/shy introvert, I'm pretty stunned. But I think I am handling it well...or at least better than my husband who's been freaking out a little bit since this started. I don't blame him and I'm surprised that I've been handling it as well as I have.
Of course this whole "dating" thing is nothing like what I think of when I think of going on a date. It started with texts. (Do tweens even talk these days or do they just text, text and then text some more?) There were two girls and my son. One girl (I'll call her "A" to keep things simple) likes my son (and I have to assume he likes her) and the other was the one (I'll call her "B") who "pushed" them together. (Not in a mean way. Perhaps a little pushy, but we are talking about tween here!) There was much chatter: "you like her, you need to ask her out" and "did you ask her yet?"
Apparently, my son finally DID ask A "out" and the three of them (yes, A and B) were supposed to go to the ice cream parlor after school on Friday. (Which is right around the block from the school and on the way home.) I was dying to be a fly on the wall that day. (Helicopter mom ENGAGE!) I DID manage to get a few details from my son. (It's getting more and more difficult to get ANY information out of him; welcome to the tween/teen years right?!) Supposedly what happened is that they (my son and A) met at the ice cream parlor. B was not there. Lots of kids/friends were there. My son got ice cream. A did not want anything. He ate ice cream. He came home. Now you know what a typical tween date might look like.
A few weeks later (the day before Thanksgiving), they set up another date. (Via text of course!) This time for lunch after school (it was a half day). Only one problem; my son didn't mention this to us. (Although we knew what was going on because as parents we do monitor his texts.) I was working from home that day and had originally thought that we would do something fun as a family in the afternoon and have an early dinner. Even if the "couple" did go out to lunch I still thought that might happen.
Of course my son did not bring this up until the day BEFORE the date. His spiel was that since NJ is so well known for diners, that he felt he should explore some...on his own. Starting of course, with the one that is closest to the middle school. I mentioned that I thought we might do something as a family after school and he said he'd "change his plans" but he was clearly not happy. My husband and I got him to tell us the real story and told him it was fine that he was going out to lunch with his friend, but he needed to ask us first/let us know what he planned to do.
Since school lets out at 12:30 on half ways, I assumed he'd be home by two. WRONG! I hadn't taken into account how popular the diner is with the kids. (Apparently EVERYONE goes there after school.) Son did not get home until after three. I was not happy. But I DID get the story (or most of it). Son and A met at the diner; as did every other kid from school (or so it seemed). Son had burger and fries for lunch; A did not eat, but had a soda. (This worries me a little, but...) After lunch they parted ways (A lives on the west end of town and we live on the east). Son ended up walking him with another friend who had been at the diner and who also happens to be a girl. (And in keeping with the alphabet, we'll call her "C") C wanted/needed to stop at our local Walgreens, so he went along and eventually the two of them arrived home.
Since the diner date before Thanksgiving, things have cooled down a bit. At least as far as I see it. This might be in part due to the fact that my son has lost cell phone privileges (for reasons that have nothing to do with A). We did allow him to send one text to A to let her know that he wouldn't be texting her over the next week or so and why. However even before that the texting had slowed down a bit and so I wonder how long this will last. Because we all know this will NOT last. There will be "heartbreak" and tween angst in the future; it's inevitable. I just hope it's not too full of drama.
Which brings me to the title of my blog post. I am so glad that my son is not "dating" C. C is a wonderful girl. I drive her (and my son of course) to school a couple of days a week. C and her siblings have been playing with my son since they were five. I adore C. I love C's family. I love it when C comes bounding down the block, full of the energy that only she could have, and knocks on our door to see if our son can come out to play. (Something that still happens.) C and my son have a unique friendship and "dating" would ruin that. (At least at this point in time.)
I'll admit that I don't know A at all. I'm sure she's a lovely girl, but neither she nor my son are really ready to date traditionally. They may call themselves boyfriend and girlfriend, but it's really just a title and now a relationship. This is just the beginning of many relationships for them both. And when they look back on these times, years (decades?) from now, I hope that they will remember each other fondly.
As for C; I hope that she and her family will continue to be part of our circle of friends for the years/decades that are to come. Let them be friends to the end with no "relationship" complications (at least with each other).