Tonight I get to chaperone a bunch of teens, sort of. Mostly, I’ll be sitting at a table in a ballroom of a local hotel watching kids dance, parents watching their kids dance, and refilling candy bowls. I will be the only parent there without a kid at this event. It’s the local high school band banquet, and because my eldest son attended this school last year and I signed up to volunteer before he moved to his dad’s last summer, I will be helping out. In a formal dress, because it’s a formal event. Think prom for band geeks. Fortunately, my dress is short so I won’t have to deal with excess fabric getting in the way. Foresight is always a nice thing. Actually, its the one night I get to dress formally, and I do like to dress up. It’s so much fun even if it is a lot of work.
What I don’t look forward to is being the only parent there without a kid attending. I’m not sad that my son moved to his dad’s. Well, not anymore. We’re still working on acceptance of him growing up and away from mom. But, it’s been a good thing for both of us. We relate better now than we did before he moved. He seems happy and that’s the important thing to me. I don’t want my kids to ever feel that they have to take care of me. I have taken care of myself for a long time, and I would rather they learn to take care of themselves and their families when it comes to that time. I love my sons, and only want the best for them, even if that means being away from me. That’s how we grow. And sometimes, we aren’t always the best thing for them. I was proud that my son had the courage to say “Mom, I think I’d like to try living with dad because I think it would be better for me right now.” I was sad, of course, but I didn’t get mad. He gave me logical reasons for his decision, and they were well thought out and made sense. His dad lives near a school with a better band program and updated technology with more classes tailored to careers he was interested in. He wanted the chance to get to know his dad better as well as his step-family (my ex remarried two years ago). Plus, I was under a lot of stress at the time and he and I are so much alike that we were constantly sparking one another’s tempers. I try to listen to my kids during arguments and I try to be the one to compromise and make peace. But sometimes it’s very difficult when they are 16 and have decided I have no idea about their lives or what they are going through, and that I don’t know them. It’s partly true. I don’t know what they go through at school or when they are away from me. But I try to talk to them and get them to open up to me. My other three kids have no problem with this. But Sean hit a point where he just didn’t want to share, and I knew better than to force it. So, I wait until he’s ready. The best times we have are on the car rides to and from his dad’s house on the weekends he visits. Most of the time it’s non-stop talking. I let him ramble on about anything and everything and I give only a little advice because I’ve found a little goes a long way.
I miss him, though. It’s not the same around the house without him being here. He’s so good with his little brothers, and when he and Lock aren’t competing against each other for man of the house, they are best friends. He makes me laugh (well, they all do but in different ways) and laugh hard. He loves talking music with me, and he thinks I have the best taste in music. He says his friends at school are always asking where he got this song or that one, and he tells them ‘from my mom”. Then he gets a kick out of it when they say that he has a cool mom. I smile and shake my head because I think it’s funny since they have never met me. But, I’m glad it gives him some pride in his mom. He also will read my poetry and give me a good honest answer. I smirk a lot at this because he tries so hard to be tactful. I always have to tell him ‘just be blunt, it won’t hurt my feelings”, which is true.
I will miss him a lot tonight, though. I’d enjoy getting to see him interact with his friends and sitting with me and talking to me. He’d be my date because he says he’s not ready for a real girlfriend yet, although I do know he has one. But it’s not serious. He told me yesterday his feelings are mild but he likes her. He also says it won’t last over the summer because he wants to get a job and focus on preparing for college. This next year will be his senior year in high school. He’d like to be a composer/arranger, but I think he’ll change his mind before too long. He really likes the idea of being a band director in a high school, and I think he may change to that eventually. I’m not putting my fingers in that dish because I think it’s better to let them make up their own minds with only a little guidance when they get stuck.
Anyway, I’m off for now. I have things to do before I put on my dress and go watch the next generation having tons of fun! Hope you have a wonderful Saturday!