Friday, October 22, 2010
kids' night out
It's Friday night. Son (17) drove daughter (14) into town — a 45-minute commute. Before they left, they called me at work, politely asking for advances on babysitting income, gas money, dinner funds. I mean, really. Do I only exist to prepare balanced meals, pack lunches, and shell out the bucks? Nah. I love that they like to hang out together, and that big bro will look out for little sis. They'll have a blast. They work hard and deserve this. Downside: mom spends Friday night solo eating chips & dip for dinner and, uh, pouring more drivel into her blog page.
But I miss them. Yes, I worry ... and I'm hugging them a little tighter this week. My son's friend was in a car wreck the other day. He and his passenger were lucky to crawl from the car unscathed, but the kid (a really good boy) will lose his license for a year for being underage and driving a minor. Another acquaintance is dealing with a teenage pregnancy. Yet my children are both in good places right now. My son has embarked on his first romantic relationship. This girl's parents won't let her date or go to dances, so the two pretty much see each other at school and talk on the phone — the ideal girlfriend, in my book! When her cell phone died, he valiantly made arrangements to get her a replacement, confirming my inherent belief he is just a good boy, through and through. And now I know he has the capacity to feel true love (or something like it). Heartwarming to see the boy so happy — he actually has a little kick in his step (for my son, this is saying a lot!) Another milestone in the life of a boy who only yesterday was told he was going to have a baby sister. He vetoed our suggestions for child-to-be names in favor of his pick: "Zuzu." We had a conversation the other day that included the word condom. I took it as a personal victory.
My daughter — I've said it before and I'll say it again — is a ray of sunshine. She was recently voted freshman homecoming princess. I don't hold much stake in that title — in my high school days this honor was reserved for the hottest, bitchiest girl in school who'd just die if forced to speak to someone in my lowly circles. But the internal light my daughter possesses is infectious, and her classmates have surely experienced it too. I love that when I drove her to the game in her sparkling dress and straight-from-the-salon up-do, she directed me not to the football field where all the action was, but to the other side of parking lot to meet her best friend — not the most glamorous girl on campus, but most likely the sweetest and most genuine. Together they would trek to the festivities from there. If I've raised my girl to value kindness over snobbery in choosing her friends, I think I've done a pretty good job. She's the real deal and I couldn't be more proud.
Treasured moments with each of them come fewer and further between these days. But I hold on to these truths: My son WILL watch an entire Christopher Guest movie with me. My daughter and I WILL shop 'till we drop together. And there's always the dinner table. These random snapshots are precious — and all to soon will be nothing but sweet memories. Just gotta make sure they're all recorded on the memory card as they happen. For now, I sit, wait, and worry.
Just noticed it's raining out there. Make that WORRY ...