When Life Imitates Art...
This week I've been working on, and yesterday I submitted, an assigned article to a national parenting magazine on how to help your teen know when he or she is "in love." With a teen and a preteen in the house, believe me when I say that I know a little bit about crushes and infatuations and "going out" with boys (even though, at 12, they're not really "going out"--they are really just "going with," which is what we used to call it!).
The article gives information about how teens perceive being "in love" differently than adults, and tips on how parents can help their teens as they go through these feelings.
With that topic on my mind, McKenna arrived home the other night right at curfew time and she ran up to me in the living room (where I lay quietly, enjoying my new Kindle) and she literally squealed. (You have to know that McKenna is my "hold it all in" child and squealing is not usually in her nature; it is reserved for "special" moments.) I immediately knew a boy had to be the cause of her squealing, and she proceeded to sit down and tell me all about running into this friend of hers at the snow cone place. She "went out" with this boy throughout middle school (again, "going out"= nothing really, since she wasn't even allowed to date until 16) and this year she has Spanish class with him. They've been talking a lot lately, and then a group of her friends ran into him at the snow cone place (which is, apparently, a popular hang out for her crowd. If I'm selecting a hang out place, by the way, a shop that sells snow cones and ice cream and slushies is a #1 choice in my book!).
McKenna had this goofy grin on her face when she said that they hugged when she got ready to leave, and then "he gave me a little kiss." Commence squealing again!
Two of the main points in my article were to: "Keep the lines of communication open" and "Never dismiss their feelings." Believe me...sometimes I don't necessarily want to know all the little details of their relationships (the hand holding, the kissing)...but believe me at the same time that I absolutely DO want to know all the details. It makes me feel so good to know that she can come to me and share those details with me (my Mom and I have always gotten along great, but at that age I think I would have been uncomfortable talking about that). I've always drilled into the girls that they can "talk to me about anything" and I guess they know that it's true.
So, I asked her questions about him and about if she really thinks she likes him and about how he makes her feel. And it was all really good. (Of course, I know that he will probably be old news very soon; McKenna has a habit of liking a boy, then getting fed up with him, and dropping him like a hot potato. She's never had a truly serious boyfriend, because she's extremely picky.So, she may not actually fall "in love" until she's 30...which is fine too!)
And, by the way...while Delaney was at a volleyball match with Gary last night, she got a call from a boy wanting to talk to her. Yep, Delaney has a boyfriend too...they're in middle school and apparently "going out" (again with the going out!!)...so I hear it from her side too.