Well, the teenager had his exploits translated to print last week, so I suppose it's only fair that the tween gets his turn. After all, you can pretty much always count on a good Riley story...
So, I went into his room (I can't remember the reason--fortunately it's not relevant) and was sidetracked by the cutest little crocheted stuffed owl on his dresser. I was certain I hadn't seen it before, so I instantly abandoned whatever I had been going to discuss/ask/whatever and instead veered over to pick it up and admire it. "Ooh, this is adorable! Did you make it?" He nonchalantly replied, "Nah...my friend gave it to me."
Now, it's not like I just gave birth yesterday, so my finely-tuned Mom Radar automatically honed in on the elusive nature of his response. "My friend" sounded just a weeee bit too...vague...not to be suspicious. Therefore, I was ALL over that sucker: "Oh? Which friend?" He named a female classmate somewhat familiar to be because, "Hmm, she's the one who wasn't able to go to the Holiday Dance with you, right?" (Seriously, the kid should give it up and realize he has absolutely no chance--by this point in the game I'm like some kind of...Master Interrogator...eh, or maybe I've simply been watching too many episodes of Castle...or something...)
Anyway, by the fact that his cheeks immediately turned about 14 (quite precious) shades of crimson, I totally knew what was going on, but I played it super-cool (repressing the urge to cackle with glee-- really, it was ever-so-admirable, if I do say so myself) and allowed him to reveal things in his own way. "Well, Mom...I need to tell you something." I waited patiently, wearing what I hoped was a mildly curious, appropriately interested expression. He continued, "Um...we've kind of been dating...for a while."
"AHA!" I shouted triumphantly, "I knew you were hiding a secret!" Of course I'm kidding--in reality I nodded calmly and murmured something along the lines of, "That's nice, dear," before tactfully letting the subject drop. However, I'm not sure how much stock to put in this...um..."relationship" because earlier this week I casually brought it up again when I asked, "So, does your school do an event for Valentine's Day?" He shrugged in a non-committal manner, "Yeah, I think so. I seem to remember one last year." Since he didn't seem inclined to provide any more information, I pressed, "So, are you going to invite [the young lady] to go?" He looked at me slightly askance, as if the question were a bit...silly...and answered matter-of-factly, "I don't know if we'll be going out for that long."
WELL! Who would've guessed there was some kind of...expiration date...on 7th-grade romances? I sputtered in part surprise, part indignation, "Riley! That's not a very good attitude!" He quickly backtracked and clarified, "It's not that I want to break up...you just never know what's gonna happen." Sheesh. So young...so pragmatic...such a MALE, yeah? Perhaps this is my clue that we're overdue for one of those very special "Helpful Tips for Dealing with Girls" chats. Yeah...I'll get right on that...
Speaking of which, on a recent school night he came wandering through the house, clearly searching for something. When I politely inquired as to whether I could be of assistance, he asked, "Where's Dad?" I told him that my best guess would be that he was in his office, working. He absorbed this and appeared to be thinking as he mused, "Oh...'cuz I need to talk to him...about...something." Waving my hands dramatically, I pointed out, "Hellloooo! I'm available!"
He shook his head slowly and grimaced just a tad as he replied, "Welllll...it would be awkward to talk to you in this case. It's health stuff." Ahhhhhh. I nodded sagely, "Boy stuff, huh?" It was hilarious how he appeared to be soooo relieved that I'd caught on without him having to, you know, spell it out for me. He hastened to assure me, "Yeah, if I need to talk about girls, I'll come to you. but for this, I think it would be better to talk to Dad."
Oh, let me put you at ease, son, in case you were worried that I'd be offended, or my feelings would be bruised by your need to share...um...potentially sensitive puberty-related topics...with your father. I. Do. NOT. Mind. In fact, feel free to take any and ALL embarrassing, challenging, or confusing Y-Chromosome conversations straight to Dad. But if you need suggestions for a nice girlfriend gift? Or maybe some help figuring out why she's upset with you? Or guidance in navigating the treacherous waters known as "the female posse?" For these and other...emotional dilemmas...I'm your go-to parent.
In the meantime, though, I'll be over here in the corner with my fingers in my ears loudly chanting "la la la" so I don't accidentally overhear whatever the Guy Issue might be. Maybe with a nice, girly cup of tea...and a shopping website...pay no attention to me!