I’d Like A New Teen in Five Days Please
When Sunshine was in preschool she got in trouble for kissing a boy named Spencer. He was the cutest little boy and on Halloween she told me he dressed up like his mommy. When I asked her what he was wearing, she said he had toilet paper wrapped around him, a mummy, not his mommy. When the preschool teacher called us in, she told me Sunshine had been kissing him on the playground. I asked Sunshine how she was kissing him. Was it like how she kisses mommy, or how she sees people kiss on TV? She said, Gross! I kissed him like I kiss mommy!! I told her to stop kissing boys.
Then in Kindergarten she had a little boy, Adam, bring her a special Valentine. It was a teddy bear holding a heart that he’d sprayed with his mom’s perfume. He put it in a gift bag and made her a card and it was so cute. Adam was adorable. Sunshine went to a party at the skating rink and Adam was there and I was talking to his mom and she said he was really nervous about giving that to her and we laughed and talked about how cute they were. I told his mom that I thought Adam was really sweet. She skated with him while holding on to the rail.
At the end of the school year party, I volunteered and they announced who wasn’t coming back to the school for first grade and they announced that Adon wasn’t coming back. I looked over and it was Adam, the cute little boy from the Valentine and the skating rink. I’d talked to his mother for probably 20 minutes about how cute Sunshine and Adam were. Yeah, his name was actually Adon. When we were leaving I said, Sunshine, that little boy’s name is Adon, not Adam. And she said, I know, but I like “Adam” better. Awww, five years old and already trying to change him.
I wish teenage dating was as cute and easy as preschool and kindergarten crushes. There’s so much to tell them in so little time and to try and do it without them covering their ears and singing because it’s so awkward. Yeah, I know it’s uncomfortable because I’m uncomfortable too!! There’s a girl at Sunshine’s school that broke up with her boyfriend because he wouldn’t have sex with her. I don’t know what’s worse, that situation or the fact that I know about it. I just hear these terrible stories and thank God it’s not my kid. My kid is awkward, she’s shy, she’s trying to figure out the kind of person she’s going to be. She’s trying to juggle theater, tennis, and her first boyfriend.
And to be honest, it’s hard to watch. It’s hard to be a bystander in your kid’s life because you know you could swoop in and make it so much better, but then what is that teaching them? I’m reading this book Have a New Teenager by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman and he’s already told me 15 ways I’ve ruined my children (I’ll have to list those later), but I can completely see it and know I can at least learn enough to have a chance at Tenderheart.
One thing he said is that you have to let them fail. I find this to be the hardest thing of all for Sunshine because she works so hard, I don’t want to see her fail. Then when I was standing in the dining room at 4:00 in the morning helping her glue her chemistry project she’d waited too late to do, I thought, Dr. Leman would be so disappointed in me. I should have let her fail, but on her own, she would have stayed up all night doing it and not slept at all. With me helping, she got at least two and a half hours of sleep. I’m a bad parent that rationalizes, Dr. Leman.
And yes, I know I’m late to the party on this topic as Sunshine’s almost a senior and I thank God every day that I’ve been able to wait this long for this kind of drama because she had friends in middle school that had a bevy of boyfriends parading through. But it just seems like the minute you’ve figured out one part of parenting, something new comes in and throws you back on your tail. Like you can never get ahead. I long for those preschool and kindergarten crushes when you didn’t have HPV shot pros and cons going through your head. When the worst thing that could happen is their little four and five-year old feelings could get hurt, but they’d forget the following day. The stakes seem more real the older they get, but I’m still reading, Dr. Leman, I promise. And more importantly, I’m praying…..A LOT.