You'll recall just a few weeks ago, I was worrying about Son1's entrance into the hormonal Shark Week that is the 7th grade dating scene. I honestly, truly, and naively thought he was driving headlong into his first crush, first romance, and sadly, first heartbreak. What a jackass I was. I forgot. I'm raising a boy. I'm coaching for the other team now, and seeing 7th grade through the head of a 12 yr old boy. You know what? They're goddamn idiots. This only sounds harsh to those of you who have not had a 12 yr old son. To my horror, I'm not watching a replay of my adolescent heart break in my son. Hell no. I'm watching it as a replay BY my son.
To an outsider, Son1 may seem as cold as any boy my friends and I agonized over every school day through sleepover night. That would imply an ounce of forethought, or any thought. But they just don't think. In hindsight, I wish I knew all along that all boys weren't cold, heartless pricks. Nope. Just clueless, emotionally-immature, morons. They're tall children. They're not young men, not fully teens even. I now see them as the children they are, merely strecthed by a couple of good growth spurts under their belts. They weren't methodical adults trying to hurt feelings, if Son1 is any indication. They were just bulls in acne-rich china shops. They'd still whale each other with light sabers in a heartbeat. But these poor girls won't see this for many years to come.
While this makes me feel better about my own past boyfriends, it makes me feel horrible for the girls cast off before they knew what hit them. Boys used to have to call you (on *gasp* your parents' phone), wait for you after school, or send a note through a friend. As bad as it was when we were kids, today's crew is used to an immediacy that it startling. It renders teen heartache with a steely efficiency of a CIA drone over Taliban strongholds. Today's teen boy has a weapon of ice so fast, so decisive, so stinging, it would make Dr. Evil drool. He has texting. And this, my friends, is where all hell broke loose for us this weekend.
It is with head hung low and heavy heart that I report that my beloved Son1 crushed a girl BY TEXT this weekend. I was horrified that I am morally and legally responsible for a person who would do this. Break up by text? In 3-three word phrases? Hello- Paging Mr. Cold Miser. I am in charge of raising one of the clueless baffoons that thinks, "yup" and "kk" are acceptable, well-parsed replies to any query.Yes, I am raising a cold-ass-text-breaker-upper. Go ahead, take my mother of the year tiara, and un-follow me now.
I did not exactly come off as a super supportive mom advocating for him. He seemed a little taken aback by that. It all goes back to: they just don't think. To the girl in question, if she would like any comfort, she should know I read his text, went off the deep end reading how hurt she was and seeing his quick one-syllable-only bursts. She should know I then laced in to him for her... for me... for my jr high, high school, college, and post grad friends... for female family members... and for any woman who was ever a smitten pre-teen. Fear not, sweetie, when all is said and done, Hell really has no fury like a woman scorned, 30 years removed. I had your back.
While I know this is very much about this girl, who articulately and in language much more PG than I mustered gave him a piece of her mind, this is also about me. I don't mean the heartbreak part. I've come to terms with my childhood breakups and put the voodoo dolls away years ago. Mostly. But there is the thought about how it reflects on me as a mom. It raised that fear as moms that we will be judged by the crappy things our impulsive tall children do. (BTW-If I keep calling him tall child I will not affix every horrid ex-boyrfriend tag on him, so humor me.) Yet, I know my son, and I know the bubble of unseen consequences that he travels in, and I know he wouldn't willfully hurt someone. I'll readily admit to having visions of her parents watching her cry thinking, "What people would raise a boy to do this?"
Son1 is now intertwined in a love triangle spanning the 6th and 7th grade, and has gotten himself into quite the sticky mess. While trying to woo this girl to a dance for his friend who liked her, he truncated and abbreviated one word too many. He kept asking her if she was going to the dance, and in the digital crossfire, she accepted going with him. Not the friend. Oops. It could have been like every Three's Company episode, based on an overheard/misheard/misunderstood snippet. But then he was a little flattered she wanted to go with him, so he double checked (ok, quintupled checked) with his buddy if he really really really liked her. "Ya know bro i mean like like hr." "Uh yeah." (Shakespearean, isn't it?) So then not wanting to hurt his friend (see he really is a good boy), he came up with the hot idea to tell her they had been joking all along. Because each girl wants an older boy to ask her out as a joke. That went over well. Package this all with the incessant need of Son1 to sound like JayZ in text messages, and it did not play out well. The whacky sitcom morphed instead into a "very special Full House."
So now, we've laid out some thorough ground rules for the use of text, like don't ask out OR break up via text. They each deserve a voice. Don't assume the role of gangsta when chatting up girls. You're a lacrosse-playing child in a Lily Pulitzer-laden section of Morris County, NJ. It just looks stupid, like when Ralph Lauren tried selling saggy jeans and puffy jackets. And lastly, keep out of someone else's relationship. Fiascos are assured.
I think for now we've put the kibosh on text break ups. Young ladies (and their protective parents) of NJ, rest assured, one clueless guy habit at a time, I've got your back, and I'm trying to put the kibosh on those too.