Monday, August 10, 2009

Wow! Those Fifteen Years Went By Fast

Talk about your strange experience. This week was school registration so I was permitted to accompany my soon-to-be-sophomore daughter to the school--which was quite an honor because normally I'm asked to sit quietly in the car and mind my manners. Sometimes she even lets me sit there with the windows down if I behave myself.

I think the real reason she let me come in was that regular registration was over and it was pretty much empty when we got up to the activities window to sign her up for the swim team. When I reached the window I realized I'd forgot the paperwork in the car so I put Grace to work filling out forms while I ran back to get it.

When I got back, there she was at the table and there was a man next to her.

He stood up and politely said, "Hi! I'm--uh--Grace's friend."

Trying not to show my surprise I said (like a genius) "Hi! I'm--uh--Grace's mother."

Then we sat down and I tried not to stare. What was so weird about the whole thing was two things: first of all, you hear all sorts of crazy stuff about the stereotypical rude teenager but I was instantly impressed at how polite and friendly this guy was. Like I said, he stood and introduced himself and shook my hand.

He sat there at the table talking casually with Grace--and knowing her as I do I could tell she was a little embarrassed and not sure how to respond but was doing her best to handle her side of the conversation--and while I've seen plenty of 15 year old boys before this guy was nothing like the baby-faced, squeaky-voiced boys I've seen around before.

This guy was big, not quite as tall as I am (but then I'm gargantuan so that's not much of a measuring stick) but nearly so, then he was built solid with a thick neck and obviously wide shoulders. He had a closely shaved goatee--as in facial hair. In short, this guy looked like a man!

When I asked if he was going to play sports too he said he was on the varsity football team but the whole thing was just . . . surreal. I sat there watching the two of them and he was obviously interested in my daughter. He wasn't rude or obnoxious or anything, just talking with her in the way that those of us who have been through the dating scene know means that someone is interested in someone else.

We finished our paperwork and left but the whole thing shook me a bit. I know she's only fifteen and not even allowed to date yet but it was if I'd hit a warp in the space-time continuum and flashed forward ten years and was hearing this nice-looking man asking my husband, "Sir, I'd like to ask for your daughter's hand in marriage" . . . or at least something along those lines.

I swear I feel as if I'm still a new mom sometimes--finding my way through child rearing and barely past the potty-training/shoe-tying phase but obviously I am kidding myself. It is only a few more years before my children will be grown and living their own lives which I realized I am completely not ready for yet. Luckily it's still a few years away for Grace.

And I'm very glad that she's not allowed to date yet--luckily she's still a little unsure of boys and his attentions made her a little uncomfortable. Though if this guy's attitude was any sign I'm guessing that come January she's going to get a call for dinner some time.

I don't know that I'm ready for that yet.

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39 comments:

Mrs. Ohtobe said...

I feel your pain...our 20 year old daughter brought home a 35 year old a few weeks ago...wish I could say I was as nice as you but I offered him something to drink and some geritol.

Janet said...

However strange that was, at least it was a nice polite boy who was offering attentions. It's very encouraging to know that there are some out there.

a Tonggu Momma said...

That's it... I am never teaching the Tongginator to tie her shoes. I choose to believe I can control the inevitable.

Kara said...

Not having any kids of our own yet, take my comments with a grain of salt... but this story gave me some confidence that there are still some good kids (and kids being raised by good parents!) out there. I wasn't sure raising polite kids was still 'done' these days.

MommyJ said...

Okay, so I'm not really there yet. My oldest is 8. But it was just a few months ago the first time a girl called my house and asked to speak with my son.

What?! A girl? Calling my house? It was weird. Up until now, my kid's social lives have only existed because we created them for them. Now, the oldest, at least, is starting to generate plans, and make friends all on his own. Weird.

Blog O' Beth said...

This post made me want to cry - perhaps because my first child starts school and I'm feeling that same acute feeling of letting go and knowing that her world is getting larger and no longer focused on me. Perhaps it is because I sympathize with the knowledge that the goal of any parent is to raise their child to leave, to be independent, to stand on their own. To be successful as a parent means being deemed useless at the end. Perhaps it is because I'm hormonal and pregnant. I don't know.

Maddy said...

Ooo I've been distracted by Mrs. Ohtobe's comment!

Yes at 15 mine was still a bit on the fence, now she's on the cusp of 28.

I thought all was well and good as she had the travel bug. Off to China, Tibet, Australia, Mozambique....then she came home, unemployed, not surprisingly. It was good to have her home in uncertain economic times. Then I blinked and she was married. So here they are, both of them. I didn't see that coming.

I'm going to try and use your giveaway button thingummy tomorrow so forgive me if I bungle it. The old brain cells aren't what they once were.
Cheers

Patois said...

Eeeeeek!

Alison Kelley said...

My oldest son just turned 11 years old and I'm starting to get those butterflies in my stomach whenever I think about him growing up. I do hope and think he will be like this boy and be very polite. I have a hard time thinking about what it's going to be like living with a teenager. I'm totally scared!

Amanda said...

Ok so my oldest is only 4 and my youngest 6 months ....but I want to make sure that they are the guys that the girls mum says is polite, has good manners and alot of respect for their daughter!

Leslie said...

I'm not hearing this LA LA LA LA! My kids are never growing up. I've decided. NEVER.

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to being together as a group. It is so much more fun. And you don't know who is grouped with who is the two-cies.

Dan said...

It gets interesting as they get older. Now that the Son is close to 20, I figure that any girl he actually {*gasp*} brings home to meet us must be serious at some level.

It was like pulling eye teeth to meet the girls he "hung out" with in High School, The way we'd find out about "hang out" buddies was when the girl's parents would run into us and gush about what a polite young man the Son was.

Oh well, at least he seems to have been well manored when out of sight.

cndymkr / jean said...

And you (and I) thought that letting go in Kindergarten was hard. This teenage stage is looking harder by the minute.

Heather said...

Young love, how sweet! While there are some respectable boys out there, just beware of the Eddie Haskel types. Ask other parents and do your homework. I work in the schools and I've seen them in action! ;o)

Chele said...

Oh I am seriously not looking forward to that!!! My girl is only 6 and Daddy will definitely have issues when it comes to that day. My oldest son is 13 and we are starting to see these kinds of things. God help us keep them safe!

Krista said...

gack, the awkwardness. And now seeing it as a parent, I'm voting for my kids to just skip ages 12 through 22 or maybe 32. And did she really agree to this post? I'd be changing classes via Siberia to avoid all members of the varsity football team. ...slinks off

CountessLaurie said...

*sniff sniff* waaaaahhhhh! don't grow up babies! (kindergarten this year...oh, it hurts)

april said...

January? Is that when she turns 16?

Sheri said...

I am with you on sometimes feeling like a brand new mom when it comes to this teenage stuff. I wasn't and still arent ready for it, but it's coming whether I like it or not.

We took our kids to a local amusement park this past weekend, and all I could pay attention to was the shy glances my son was getting from girls! I wanted to say, WHAT are you looking at missy! I never thought I'd say it, but sometimes I long for the toddler days.

Deb said...

Okay, mom; maybe you'd like some Ativan to go with that lump in your throat.

Michelle, you are going to have a long mom-of-teens anxiety attack, I can tell.

Anjali said...

Oh my. A boy with facial hair? Oh my.

Thank goodness I still have some time with mine!

Scribbit said...

Oh my goodness Ohtobe--I would gasp!

Though if he's a good guy and treats her right it's hard to argue as much with the situation :)

And Janet you're right, it made me feel good that he was polite. And besides, what can I say? He obviously has fabulous taste :)

Apparently he's been very attentive last April and May, following her around and waiting around for her. Apparently he even skipped classes to see her--which I have to disagree with on several levels but I was kind of shocked that this was all news to me. How did it happen right under my nose and I not know?

LibraryGirl62 said...

16 and her really great boyfriend celebrated their 6 month anniversary yesterday. They went ice skating and then came home~no one was home so they actually sat in the driveway because they both know he is not allowed alone with her in the house. I am so proud of her and the choices she makes. It can be OK :) But she is still growing up too fast!

ooglebloops said...

Fifteen years went by fast - the next 3 will zoom!! Hang on tight!!!:>)

Karen Olson said...

Your post struck a chord. My daughter is 12 and a half, and while she's still thinking boys have cooties, I know it's just around the corner. She's already looking "very" grown up.

M said...

Oh dear! Mine just turned 7 and I'm having a hard enough time with THAT! I'm going to be a wreck at 15 going on 16...maybe you can stick around and hold my hand.

BONNIE K said...

I remember my daughter befriending a MAN in high school too. My husband said "he's manlier than I am!" and that was a favorite remark for all of us. Whenever anyone brought up this guy's name, my son would say "oh he's the one who's manlier than dad."

Lori said...

I am hopeful that we have another 11 years before I have to worry about this!

Mimi said...

I remember being excited to hold hands with my boyfriend in 8th grade. kids these days are so ... advanced. i don't blame your reticence!

Melissa-Mc said...

We are celebrating our 15th anniversary next week. It just flies by. Before we know it, we'll be grandmas!

Liz@thisfullhouse said...

Yeah, the fun is only beginning...for you and for me...my friend!

Organizing Mommy said...

Oh it happens too fast, doesn't it? It sounds like she attracts nice, good quality young men, which is a lot more encouraging than not.

Stephanie said...

Your post just totally gave me goosebumps. My girls are only 5 months old and almost-3-years-old, but I know time will just zoom by and the thought of it is positively terrifying.

P.S. When will your girls be allowed to date? At 16?

stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

Jane Hamilton said...

Ok Michelle, I know everyone is gushing about that sweet teenager! But, I'm just curious here, how does Grace feel about your post. I hope she doesn't mind?

Anyway, my little girl is only two, and already I worry whether she will make the right kind of friends when she is older, so I understand where this is coming from.

Scribbit said...

Good question, Jane--I actually did ask her permission to write about it. I promised I wouldn't use any names and she said it was fine.

She's pretty laid back actually. Though I have another child (nameless) who doesn't like to see their name in print at all.

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, a year ago May, I went to a wedding where the bride and groom had known each other since they were children. They were chaperoned until engagement. They shared their first kiss at the wedding. They now have a daughter and are extatically happy!! It's a thought. Love, MOMM

Alice Wills Gold said...

I know you love the word seriously, but seriously, you just made me sick to my stomach. I can't even imagine experiencing that same scenario...scary...it's only 5 years away.

planetnomad said...

Ha. Elliot is only 14 and already needs to shave, occasionally. Fortunately he is very shy around girls.