Tween and Teenagers
Valentine’s Day: A Conversation With My Teenage Son
Even though Valentine’s Day is less than a week away, I just don’t see the big deal anymore. I haven’t really given it much thought and haven’t even considered searching out the perfect gift for my hubby – Wait. Maybe I should be?
Anyway, the point is, it’s not at all like what it used to be when I was a teenager, where I awaited in anticipation for my crush to hand me a note or tell me in person how madly in love with me he was. When it didn’t happen I would wallow in the deep sad emotions felt in a way only a teenager can feel them.
As I reminisced on this, I started wondering what Valentine’s Day was going to be like for my teen and then it hit me, I had no idea what my teen thinks about Valentine’s Day or worse yet, if there is someone he has in mind. There was no time for me to feel like a bad mother for this, I needed to ask him right away.
I waited till he got home from school.
“What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?” I asked as-a-matter-of-factly.
He looks at me, his eyes tuning me in past the blaring music blasting out his headphones. “Valentine’s Day is February 29th, right?”
I want to smile, laugh a little actually, at the realization that my kid is your typical guy. Maybe for someone wanting to date him this would be a source of frustration, you know, him being such a guy and all, but for me it was a sign that my little boy was still in there somewhere inside this 6’2 frame.
Instead, I don’t laugh. I sigh. It’s expected, you see, when having conversations with your teen that you not demonstrated to be overly emotional about anything. If you want to keep the conversation going you have to be as ambivalent and non-reactionary as they are.
So, I sigh and don’t correct him. “Whatever,” I say, “what are you doing?”
Then suddenly, he warms up and a smile comes across his face. “Well, there’s this girl…”
Nooooooooo! That this girl! Dammit! So. Close.
Again, no reaction from my part even though my head is exploding.
“…and I’m thinking of asking her out.”
My stomach sinks. I think I want to vomit a little.
“Hmm. Well, I need to meet her before you do,” I say totally owning my Mom title and false sense of control over the situation.
“What? Why??” Ah, now this is the teen I love so much. Combative and inquisitive, though he already knows why.
“Because I need to make sure she’s not crazy and that she’s a nice girl. Plus, I’m probably going to be spending money on her for movies and gifts and whatever else, so I want to see what I’m going to be spending my money on.”
Eye-roll, followed by a sigh, followed by some mumbling I can’t understand but will take to mean, “Of course Queen Mother. I will present my love interest before the court, my dear father the King and you immediately for your consent.”
“Why do you ask anyway,” he says.
I look at him, loving that we are still talking despite the fact that more than 10 minutes have passed and I just managed to tick him off. And for a moment I can’t remember why I asked, just that he answered and shared more than I expected.
“ I was just curious.” I answered with maybe a hint of sadness in my voice.
He walked away and went about his normal routine of the afternoon.
I’m not sure really how teens today celebrate Valentine’s Day. I guess there are plenty of ways in which it is different from when I was younger.
Except that sometime between the 14 and 29 of February (I never told him the real date), some girl might get a special note from my boy and his heart will either be elated or broken. And those emotions are ones I can totally relate to suddenly making this Valentine’s Day a pretty big deal.