Over the weekend, while my texting tween was hunched over her cell phone, she paused long enough to ask me if she could go over to the house of this new “friend” to hang out. I agreed, thinking that it was no different than when she went over to one of her other guy friend’s house. Her first guy friend had been friends with her since 1st grade, and for several years had even considered themselves best friends. I had gotten to know this kid well, as well as his family. And there had never been any reason to not let them hang out. But after I agreed to let my daughter hang out with this new “friend”, I immediately regretted the words. Why? My daughter was a tomboy, naturally drawn to being one of the guys at school, and chatting with her guy pals on Facebook. So what was causing me to bristle at the thought of her hanging out with one of the guys?
For one, it was the way they had been texting back and forth consistently for the past several days. Two, it was the way she lit up, eager to talk up his good points every time I asked a few innocent questions about who he was, what he liked, his intentions for my daughter, plans for the future, and what his parents did for a living. You know, innocent. Three, she was getting to the age when male-female friendships developed into something more than just hanging out, and I wasn’t sure that I had counseled her enough on matters of the heart and the art of being chaste.
Most of all, it was that I didn’t even know this kid or his parents.
I retracted later in the day and told her that before she could go over to this friend’s house, I needed to meet him. That meant that they would not be picking her up from school as originally planned, I would. And I would be driving her to his house so that I could meet him AND his parents, plus find out exactly where she would be staying. Plus, I needed to talk to his mom on the phone first. She immediately fought me on this.
“But Mom, you said!” she cried.
“I know I said. But I don’t even know this kid. I don’t think it’s too much to ask that I get to know whose house my daughter is going to.”
“Great. You say I can go, and then you change all the rules. Totally fair,” she said to me in her attempt to manipulate the situation back into her court. Little did she know that I was the master of manipulation.
“Let’s put it this way, DQ, either I meet him and his parents, or you don’t go.”
She hunched back over her phone, and a few minutes later she had an address for me, and had given my phone number to her friend so that he could pass it on to his mom.
The mom called me later that day. We both laughed over this ruse our kids were pulling over our eyes, thinking we were none the wiser.
“She keeps telling me that they’re just friends,” I told the mom. “But I’m fairly certain that there is more going on.” She agreed, mentioning that her son was doing the same thing and that she wasn’t fooled. She assured me that she would be keeping a watchful eye on them, and I couldn’t help but mention that I’d love it if his bedroom door remained open while my daughter was there.
“I do want you to know that my son is a good kid,” she said. “I know I’m biased, but he’s really great.”
“I have no doubt about that,” I reassured her. “I just know my daughter, and I remember what I was like at her age.” Truth be told, however, that yes, I was worried about her son possibly stealing my daughter’s first kiss and then breaking her heart.
I was 13 when I received my first kiss. Almost overnight, this particular boy had become the crush of every single girl at school. He was exotic, of Persian descent. And he had a smile that could win millions. So it was my luck that he happened to be on the schoolyard the same day as Open House when my parents were stuck in a stuffy classroom, learning about what their daughter would be doing that year in school. He was with a bunch of mutual friends, so I joined the group. And we all came up with the brilliant idea that we would play Truth or Dare. It was my turn, and the dare given to me both elated and terrified me.
I was to kiss this beautiful Persian boy.
I entered the center of this circle, and so did he. He got really close to me and wrapped his arms around my waist. He dropped his head down close to mine, and then his lips touched my lips. What happened next shocked the hell out of me.
He shoved his tongue in my mouth.
I had never in my life experienced something so gross, so slimy, so absolutely horrendous. This was kissing? This was disgusting! Sure, the idea that we were actually FRENCH KISSING was awesome. I was experiencing my very first REAL kiss, and everyone got to see. And I knew what a French kiss was before I had actually experienced one. But I hadn’t anticipated the slick, wet feeling of what a French kiss actually felt like. Ick ick ick ick ick!!!!
When the crowd had dispersed, we were left alone to sit and talk. Or rather, not talk. We didn’t really know each other, and we had nothing to say. He finally turned to me.
“Will you be my girlfriend?”
What could I say? True, I hardly knew him. True, he didn’t even know I existed until this evening. But we had kissed, so now we were in love forever.
“Yes!” I said. We sealed it with another kiss just in the nick of time. My parents came out of the classroom only moments later.
For three glorious days, we were the couple on campus. This meant that we never talked at school, and only glanced at each other with shy smiles until one of us turned away. We may have even talked on the phone at least once. But on the third day, he walked up to me and told me that he liked another girl and wanted to break up. I was crushed, of course, but smiled and told him that was ok. As I remember, he cycled through that girl just as fast as the relationship he had with me, dumping her for two girls who agreed to be his girlfriends simultaneously. I’d love to say that this was my first and last experience of dating a player. I’d love to. But some guys have become way too adept at using their prettiness as a power, and let’s just say it has been my kryptonite more than once.
And being that my daughter was raised by me, and has proven to be very much like me, I knew that she might face the same problem. This was especially evident when her “friend” walked out of his room to greet us. He was tall and slender. He wore the standard skater clothes with long dark hair that fell perfectly in place. And he gave us a shy smile when I said hello to him, flipping his hair ever so slightly.
Frankly, he was a 12 year old babe.
Part of me wanted to say, way to go DQ! But mostly, remembering all the pretty faces that I had given many of my firsts to, I realized that I am in so much trouble. And I’m not sure I’m ready for this.
Parents of tweens, how are you dealing with these coming of age years? And do you remember your own first kiss?