Did The Kids Figure This One Out on Their Own?

Or do they just “get” something the rest of us don’t?

Happy Thursday after Easter, friends!

I apologize for not getting this up last week. Impending Spring Break messes with timelines for school-related paperwork, which has to take priority. (I always wonder though: God-forbid something serious happened to the person doing the write-up a few days prior–i.e., an injury–doesn’t the paperwork NOT get in on time? Does life stop because of that? Just sayin’… :))

Anyway, these thoughts were inspired by a conversation between me and my older guy a few weeks ago.

Most Friday mornings I drop my sixteen year-old son off at school. Our other regular passenger is his ‘girlfriend.’ I keep asking myself why I still put quotes around that word; they haven’t broken up once, and she’s been around three years (plus).

Yep. 1/26/10: that used to be part of my older guy’s text signature. This year, that date fell on a Saturday. It wasn’t until AFTER I picked them up at The Olive Garden that I realized why they’d made dinner plans and just assumed someone would drop them off and pick them up. (Yeah, the mommy in me got a little cranky with them doing that, but I’d missed the bigger picture up front. I got over it soon enough. And I got on my kid’s case about getting her flowers. Won’t tell you he’s lazy, but he can be a bit lackadaisical when it comes to doing things.)

Back to Friday mornings. He was doing his hair for school—I swear he’s the daughter I never had when it comes to his appearance—and I happened to ask about a woman who is best friends with the girlfriend’s mother. (Names are made up.)

“How’s Melanie?”

“She’s good.”

“Did she and Henry get back together?”

“Yeah. They’re back and forth all the time. They fight over stupid stuff. They’re like teenagers.”

“Have you and Fiona ever have a fight?”

“Not really. Her mom and Melanie are envious of us. They want to know what our secret is.”

I laughed. “I’ll tell you the secret: control. You and Fiona don’t try to do that to each other. You let each other be.”

“Yeah. I guess.”

Funny. I’ve got a pair of teen sweethearts who inherently get that. (Hubby and I do okay in that department, but every now and again it creeps up. Then we deal and hopefully have learned something new about each other, eighteen years down the married line.)

I’ve watched these kids in action over the past three years. Like her mom who grew up the youngest of five and the only girl, Fiona’s friends are mostly boys, the same ones who are my son’s core group. (Doesn’t seem to phase him none, to his credit.) Her appearance matters but she’s no diva, which is nice.

She and my son spend a ton of time together, but neither cares if one does something without the other. And—thank God!—there’s NONE of the ridiculous, “You can’t talk to that girl” or vice versa. (I’d probably bean either or both if they did. Can’t stand that nonsense.)

We’ve spent vacation time with her family and she’s come away with us. Spend that much time with someone, s/he’s bound to get on one’s nerves. Not so with this girl. They’re a lot alike—even resemble each other a bit—in how overall easygoing each one is.

Got me thinking about how much control gets in the way of having ANY relationship, and not necessarily a romantic one.

When one lives and lets live, life is so much easier on both sides. I can be me without worrying about feeling judged. Disagreements are seen as differences of opinion and not as a personal affront (most of the time anyway). I can do what I need to do without worrying someone else is going to get bent out of shape. When that goes both ways with a spouse, parent, child or friend, I’m can pretty much guarantee a respectful, peaceful and mutually satisfying relationship where two-way interaction just flows naturally.

What are your thoughts on this? Any experiences come to mind that you’d care to share? If positive, what made them so? And if not, how did you deal?

My little home in the woods. Water to go on in about a week–that means we can actually start going again! I’m psyched! 😀

My little home in the woods. Water to go on in about a week--that means we can actually start going again! I'm psyched! :D

Have a great day, all!

Joanna

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7 thoughts on “Did The Kids Figure This One Out on Their Own?

  1. “I swear he’s the daughter I never had when it comes to his appearance”—Haha! I’m sure he’d love to hear that.

    You’re right–the sooner we understand that we can’t–nor shouldn’t–control our partner, the happier the union will be. But what we can control is how we deal with things, and hopefully we can do that in an adult manner.

    Can’t imagine my son with a girlfriend yet. But I suppose it won’t be long. Yikes.

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    1. Actually, my son read the post up front. He wasn’t thrilled with “Fiona”–said it reminded him of Shrek but didn’t care if I changed the name or not, lol. He’s had a girlfriend since his first day of 6th grade (another girl; they ‘went out’ twice but that didn’t last).

      Dealing in an ‘adult manner’: I suppose that’s a relative term. Someone showed at my house this AM, wearing her adult status and anger as a power trip, but not acting very adult. That kind of stuff makes me nuts, but I know I can’t control it, so I do the best I can with the situation.

      Oh well. Said adult is too impulsive to read this article too.

      Beware those who won’t be taught or think they have nothing to learn.

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  2. A 3-year girlfriend, starting at 13! What an interesting kid you have. Wonderful that they are relaxed and accepting with each other. Don’t know about your kids, but it seems like mine, just a bit ahead of yours, have a far different experience with the opposite sex than mine did. There are a lot more cross-gender friendships that really are friendships, and far fewer hangups about courting. Your observations about your son are keen and patient. Lucky boy.

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  3. You’re very kind, Julia. I’m so glad you stopped by! (Sorry it took me a bit to catch this. Didn’t make it to the ‘puter yesterday.)

    Hmm. I’d love to read more about the “far different experience” you alluded to in your comment. How old are your kids?

    Wow. Never occurred to me my son is ‘courting.’ (For some reason, that makes me want to bite my nails down to the cuticle, lol.)

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  4. Hi Joanna!

    This is so true: When one lives and lets live, life is so much easier on both sides. I can be me without worrying about feeling judged.

    I’ve got enough on my plate with my own life to worry about other people’s. I remind myself of that whenever I feel frustrated at what someone else is doing. Can’t control them. All I can control is my reaction.

    Have a great day! Cheers!

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    1. Hey Shelli! So kind of you to stop in! You’re right about only being able to control my reactions. I will, however, expand that to the way I behave–as in I can control MY actions (most of the time anyway ;).

      Why do I get a feeling we speak a particular kind of common language? Hmmm….

      See you at your place! Thanx again.

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