My oldest fell in love about a year ago. He was really quiet about it but I could hear him in his room, always FaceTiming with a girl. Every time I’d ask him about her, he’d shut down and not say a word, so I had to take it upon myself to find out.
I listened a few times through his door. I started peeking at her Facebook. Now, you aren’t allowed to judge me unless you have a teenager who is in love and won’t tell you anything about this new person in their life who is taking up a lot of space.
If you don’t do some detective work then good for you. I’m not ashamed of trying to peek into my son’s world a little bit. I mean, I’d never tell him I did this, but that’s beside the point.
Anyway, it’s been a year now and when I finally did meet her the first thing I thought was, OMFG, she’s just like me.
She’s a bit bossy. She likes things neat. She goes to bed early and gets up early and is a hard worker. In fact, after seeing how messy his room was she cleaned it for him. Then, she came down stairs and told me she needed a garbage can and a hamper for his room.
Okay, I’ll get right on that.
I told her sure and it was really nice she cleaned his room. “He won’t keep it clean though. I’ve been fighting that fight for years. He doesn’t keep sheets on the bed.”
He told me he was better because she raked everything out under his bed and they got rid of four garbage bags of trash.
And you know what that little shit has done ever since she came over that day and transformed his room? He’s kept it clean.
He now goes to bed early and wakes up early. I used to wake up to take my nightly pee at 1 a.m. and see his light still on and tell him to get his butt back in bed.
I used to constantly ask him what he wanted as far as clothes when I’d go shopping with his sister. I was willing to go through great lengths to get him out of his favorite sweatsuit, but he always mutters, “I don’t want anything.”
Now he’s all spiffed up wearing floral shirts with khaki joggers and white Air Force 1s that are so bright I need my shades.
He gets regular haircuts now and is showering every two seconds. The smell of cologne has replaced the mildew scent wafting from his room.
He put his clothes in his actual hamper for fuck’s sake, and uses the garbage can (instead of the floor) in his room.
He never used to like the sandwiches I made him for school, but she makes the exact same ham and cheese I used to offer for him and drops it off at work every day. Oh, he likes her sandwiches but not mine! I see how this works.
Yes, I’m sure a part of this is growing up. But the thing is, I recognize I’ve been replaced in a few ways and I’m okay with that. I’m sure he sees us as two very separate people. After all, I’m his old mother who never let him have any fun, and she is his exciting girlfriend and he adores her. So, naturally anything she says is the Bible and everything I say (even if it’s the same thing) is coming from a tired old hag who doesn’t know jack shit about anything.
I have not pointed out that he keeps his room clean after she came over for one afternoon and cleaned it for him. I didn’t go on about the years and hundreds of hours I logged trying to get him to pick up his damn room and have better hygiene and perhaps change up his uniform of sweats.
I haven’t pointed out his lover is, in fact, very much like me in the way she talks to him, likes order, and likes to be in bed by 9 p.m.
It hasn’t been easy, of course. But I can bite my tongue. This is just what happens when our kids grow up, and my son is happy. They have a good relationship and respect each other. They are genuinely best friends.
And if the price I have to pay is watching him do things with her he’d never do with me — they make sushi together, they go fishing, and suddenly he likes to shop — I can handle that.
I’m here to support my son, not get in the way of a good thing in his life just because it’s taking away time he used to spend with me, and I’m now watching him do things I’ve been begging him to do for years.
I didn’t say it doesn’t sting a little bit, but announcing that won’t do either of us any good.
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