Even when they are 15 years old.
I have a daughter that age, who has a crush on a boy. We’ve been there, ladies. You so desperately want the boy you like to like you back, there is almost physical pain involved in not knowing if he likes you or he doesn’t like you.
But as a mom, what do you do to protect your daughter from that feeling? And should you? What do you tell them?
This boy my oldest daughter is crushing on doesn’t go to her school, so the only time they would be able to get together is if her mom drives her to meet him somewhere where he has gotten a ride to. We have made arrangements twice in the past month to do this. The first time, I dropped my daughter off at basically a teen dance party, by herself, because this boy was going to be there with a group of his friends, and none of Brighid’s friends could go. I watched as she walked into the club, and drove away. It wasn’t until nearly 2 weeks later that I found out the boy never showed up, she didn’t know anyone there, so she hung out with the band (a group of high school boys) for the 3 hours I had left her there. She didn’t want to call me to come and get her because she thought I wouldn’t let her go again. She was probably right. I won’t let her go again, unless I am bringing her and at least a friend or two.
Then she makes plans to meet this boy at the mall. It starts out early in the day as Brighid, Captain Fantastic (the boy she’s crushing on), a couple of his friends and his brother, and three of Brighid’s friends. By the time we arrive at the mall at the appointed time, it’s down to Brighid, Captain F, and whomever he has been able to get to drive him. She wants to hop right out of the car, but I make her call to find out where they are meeting and what time I am picking up and where. He is on the other line with his friends, still trying to get a ride, and he’ll call her back.
We wait. A. Long. Time. 20 minutes later, I tell her to call him back or I’m leaving. She begs for a few more minutes, and remembering how hard it was to be 15, I agree. It is now 2 minutes to 8, and I tell her I am heading out. Then the phone rings. He tells her to just hang in a few more minutes, and he will call her back, he has to call someone else.
I’m already suspicious of this kid. He blogs about a bad track record with girls. I have already warned my daughter this may be an obstacle to any potential “relationship” with this kid. He has already stood her up once. She took responsibility for that one, saying that originally, she was not going to be able to go (true), but I reminded her that there was always a possibility she would be going, and he knew that, so if he was not going to show up, he had an obligation to let her know. And now, 30 minutes after he’s already supposed to be here, he’s not and doesn’t have a ride yet, which means he is at least another 30 minutes from getting here.
I am just about to tell her we’re leaving, because there is no point in meeting now, as the mall closes at 9:30, and even if he gets here in record time, I don’t have enough time to drive all the way home and all the way back, which puts me stuck in the car in the parking lot with Granuaile for an hour. Then he calls. CF tells her he can’t get a ride after all, that his friends made the decision to spend the day in the mall without him and they do not want to drive back out to the mall to spend another hour.
My kid is so disappointed. I am disappointed for her. I don’t want to see her hurt, but she is. She is still making excuses for him, and I worry that this will one day lead her into an abusive relationship, where she can’t see the guy for the things he is doing wrong or the things he is lacking. I think part of her making excuses is so that I won’t deny her the ability to ever get together with this kid again, but it may be too late for that. While I want to understand that they are 15, don’t drive, and need to rely on other people for rides places, I want there to be some kind of respectfulness that at least the kid acknowledges that Brighid went to the effort to get a ride, showed up, and was waiting, but there doesn’t seem to be any. I also told her the next time they make plans, he has to come to our house. This morning, she tells me how hard that will be for him because he lives so far away (30 minutes – Big Deal).
Oh, and when she got home last night and he called, he told her that an old girlfriend told his friends that she must have been on drugs to ever want to go out with him, so he’s swearing off of having a girlfriend. I want this to be a big flashing red light in my daughter’s eyes, but instead, she asks for help in translating it. Does it mean he likes her but just doesn’t want a girlfriend? Does it mean he likes her, but is angry that the other girl would say something like that? Does it, GULP, mean he doesn’t like her?
How far do we go to protect our kids? Do I step in and forbid her from seeing this kid, because in the eye of experience, it doesn’t look like this is going to go anywhere? Do I keep my mouth shut and try to be here to pick up whatever pieces are left?
Don’t you hate that Motherhood doesn’t come with an instruction manual?