Teenagers take a simple “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach to sharing details from their life with prodding parents.
For some reason, this kid of mine — my fourth and final run through the teenager hormonal machine — thinks this is my first prom rodeo.
What’s a parent to do?
I’m an asshole parent for asking a barrage of questions about the forthcoming junior prom.
My youngest kid graces us with his presence a mere 3 to 5 minutes a day if lucky — post-practice, pre-shower — and with such limited face time, we like to connect. And by we, I mean me. I usually get a glimpse of this kid of mine around feeding time and am allowed one, maybe two, questions during the pasta shoveling.
What did we learn? Nothing. His stonewalling grunts, I dunnos, and shoulder shrugs drove us to drink. (“Us,” as in his dad and me. Not the kid. We don’t serve kids — not ours or anyone else’s, which is part of the reason for so many questions.)
This is just a sampling. I’m sure more were bounced off the back of his 17-year-old head as he left the house each morning, and the back of his ass as he went upstairs each night. To each and every question we’d get a grunt or an eyeroll or an exasperated huff, a mumbling under his breath, yet probably screaming in all caps on Snapchat:
“MY PARENTS ARE SUCH ASSHOLES.”
Which might have just been me hearing things, but a mom’s gotta fill the void with something
So this is what this asshole parent knows:
– Apparently he does have a girlfriend, and his girlfriend is his prom date. We asked for proof and got it. She is smart, funny, witty, and beautiful. We like her, in the 5 to 7 minutes we’ve been allowed to talk to her.
– He asked her in a classy, creative, inexpensive way (because promposals are complete and utter bullshit in my not-so-humble opinion).
– Yet-to-be-named friends are renting a school bus to take them to the dance from an unnamed person’s house who is also hosting pictures to which I am not invited but will absolutely crash and tweet all about it so follow me on Twitter for that fun.
– His lacrosse coach gave the entire team a midnight curfew and will be calling to check they are home safe, sound, and sober — so yay for me! My kid won’t be the only boy not allowed to stay over, and I won’t be the freak mom not allowing her kid free access to handles and snacks as a teenage mosh pit of hormones takes over someone’s basement with not a condom to be found.
Prom season is the season of love and angst, a coming of age for high-schoolers all across America and in basements and at backyard bonfires everywhere. The traditions continue and secrets prevail, and it’s an asshole parent’s job to keep asking, keep annoying, keep parenting, to do their very best to keep the ship afloat and their kid outta trouble.