Last night, the younger boy took his girlfriend to a movie. Actually, I took them both to a movie, since they are fourteen and need a chauffeur in order to go anywhere further than the edge of their respective neighborhoods. I asked him which movie they were going to see, and he replied, “New Moon.” I marveled out loud at how nice a boyfriend he is, to agree to take her to see that, and he replied something along the lines of “I know.”
I dropped them off, and as they walked away from the car towards the ticket office, my mind traveled back to a movie date I had when I was fourteen. My first boyfriend and I were dropped off by his parents, and we saw the James Bond movie “Octopussy”, which cracks me up now that I think about it because it was such an odd choice for two fourteen-year-olds on a movie date. I remember holding hands in the darkness and thinking that the movie was one of the best I’d ever seen–obviously a byproduct of giddily being on a movie date with my first boyfriend, who was holding my hand in the darkness, since everyone knows that “A View To A Kill” (with Duran Duran singing the theme song) was a way better Bond movie.
The next thing I vividly remember is the two of us standing outside the theater doors waiting for his parents. I remember walking alongside the promotional movie posters, and noticing in particular the one for the Rolling Stones movie “Let’s Spend the Night Together.” I remember thinking “eew,” about the Rolling Stones AND the movie title. (Don’t heckle: Mick and crew have since grown on me!)
When his parents picked us up, we didn’t go far; we stopped for ice cream, the four of us, at a sit-down place called “Sprinkles”. While we waited for our sundaes, his parents engaged me in conversation. This wasn’t our first meeting so I wasn’t uncomfortable at all, but I thought his mom acted a little weird, maybe a little too hyper. She had a perma-grin on her face and talked practically non-stop, yet she did let me chime in now and then. They were very nice to me and it was a nice finish to the evening.
Now that I’m on the other side of that table, per se, I recognize the mom’s excited tone of voice and big smile as symptoms of someone who has realized that her son had moved beyond being just friends with a girl and that there were little sparks there. (and I was his first girlfriend, just as he was my first boyfriend)
As the mom, I remember that night, and I think of it now and then, when the younger boy makes plans with his girlfriend. Although there was absolutely nothing wrong with the way his mom acted, these days, something a little lower-key is more accepted. I do my best to be friendly (to both boys’ girlfriends) without going overboard. I don’t do or say anything intentionally to embarrass them. (I know, some of you are going to say, “Well that’s no fun, is it?”) If I’m driving them somewhere, I don’t join the conversation unless they include me, which, as luck would have it, happens often BECAUSE I wait to be included instead of butting in early on.
The way I do it may not work for everybody, but the boys have come to realize that bringing friends around Jim and me is safe. I hope to be the type of mom who is totally welcoming and accepting of anyone our boys introduce to us.
Of course, we’re just starting this dating thing. I’ll keep you posted on my efforts.