My son and I have always been very close, even during the times when most kids pull away. When we lived in Las Vegas, I would drive him to school every morning, even though my job in a production show brought me home way after midnight. We would talk about the day before, listen to music and just be. To this day there is nothing I like better than just sitting with him somewhere shooting the breeze. When the texting phenomenon started we continued communicating via text message. Just another form of communication that allowed us to keep in touch. He had dated a few girls in middle school and a few in high school. But when he got his first real girlfriend in college, people were calling me to see if I was okay. Iʼm not going to lie, this “serious” relationship threw me for a loop. She made fun of him for texting me all the time, so that stopped. We hardly spoke as he would just stay at her place on the weekends. I knew this was part of the growing up process but, I’m not going to lie, it hurt. It hurt bad. A comedy writer friend of mine wanted to film a sketch based on our relationship where the son breaks up with his mother - “Itʼs not you mom, itʼs me.” Not funny when it’s really happening.
When it ended, I held him as he cried. As a mother all you want to do is make sure your child is happy. Though I hated what that girl did to him I knew it was part of life and at some point he was going to have to endure it, another life experience box to check, but it’s not one you exactly look forward to.
It’s not easy to watch your baby grow up and date someone. Someone who will most likely change them. Who could hurt them. Who could drive a wedge between you and them. But, we should also remember, that there’s a chance she might be a real gem and she might make him really happy. And it’s important to remember that your son dating is about your son living life, not about you.
So what do you do when your son dates? Worse when he gets his heart broken? After I stopped myself from doing something illegal, I realized I had no choice but to let it go. It wasn’t up to me. As a mother, you want so badly to always protect your children, but there are times where you have to step back and allow them to get through tough times on their own. Never to abandon them, but sometimes giving them the space they need to figure out whatever they have to figure out might be the best thing you can do for your child.
That girl changed him and there will probably another couple that do too. But you know what? College, unemployment, pure joy, babies, marriage, moving -- all of those things will change him as well. And that’s ok, because that’s life. The last thing I would want for my child is for him to go through life without having obstacles to overcome or periods of pure joy to relish in, I mean, how boring and sad would that be?
Oh yeah, but as for me, while I was busy giving him his space, I occupied myself by drinking wine. A lot of wine. So when in doubt, drink wine. Everything is always better with wine.