The one thing that I observed as a mother of two teenage boys , pardon me… young men, is the alchemy in the relationship that has transpired in the days, months and years post divorce. My boys and I have always been very close to each other from the beginning. Being the primary parent in their day to day life also meant being their taxi driver, personal chef, tutor, event planner, doctor, therapist, lawyer and at most times the fixer of everything gone wrong. I secretly, as I know many of you do, kept a voice recording of my kids on my phone at work and cell phone. I must have listened to it an infinite number of times at a moment in time that I was having a bad day, needed a smile or just plain missed them. The teen years brought a very different scene. One in which the angels that seemed to have looked to me as one that can do no wrong all of a sudden saw me as their mortal enemy with the sole purpose of “ruining their life”.
One of the first and most uncomfortable conversations I had with my son had to be about what else… girls. Having been brought up in an Indian home that was anything but the typical desi home, I somewhat expected such a scenario to take place. In my honest opinion, no matter how open minded you may think you are, as a parent, it’s a shock and grounding of reality that your baby is growing up when they all of a sudden start showing interest in things other than action figures, Saturday morning cartoons and the latest video game released.
Strange how my son himself treaded the subject with caution and “set the stage” per se by having the house spic and span, dishes and homework completed and even having dinner ready by the time I arrived home from work that day. (By dinner…. I mean his version of tuna helper).As we finished our fine meal and conversed about nothing in particular, he dropped the bomb on me about “that one girl” that always seemed to hang out with the group of friends. He was curious as to what I thought of her.
Seeing where this talk was going, all I could tell him was that regardless of how I felt , I wanted to make sure that he was comfortable with getting to know her better. Mind you, inside my head, my brain had all but gone numb as a thousand thoughts bounced back and forth “Oh My God, he’s going to kiss her, they’ll hold hands, what if she wants to hang out with us, Oh great, I have to buy a corsage for prom, and the dreaded, what if they have …S.E.X …I’ll have to talk to him about birth control!! “ – It’s a wonder I can’t yet claim a single grey hair!
As indicated in my previous article – “Let’s Go For A Drive” keeping the channels of communication open with your children is critical in ensuring and establishing a solid foundation for many issues, concerns and matters that will cross their path as they grow from your baby to young adult to an independent adult. Having lived through the terribly angst filled teen years, and perhaps being the young mom that I am myself fortunately places me in a position that allows me to relate to my children at a level that perhaps most parents may not have the advantage to do so.
This positioning however also brings with it some awkward moments that no one can possibly plan for. We can however do our best to arm ourselves with the knowledge and facts that will hopefully make these types of situations with our children not seem as uncomfortable as you may imagine.
In the next few series of “Flying Solo” posts on Masalamommas, I’ll explore how to effectively approach such topics as sex, drugs, peer-pressure, bullying – from the perspective of a single mom. Taboo topics are never an easy thing to discuss with two parents to tag team and help each other out let alone one who has to do it alone. I’ll share some tips and strategies that have worked, and perhaps not in giving you an added resource. Tune in for some #RealTalk.