Lisa Kern

Lisa Kern
Location
Pennsylvania, US
Birthday
March 28
Bio
I'm a mom of three boys, a needy dog, and an insolent cat. When I'm not writing, vacuuming up pet hair, or cleaning pee off the toilet seat, I like to fantasize about jeans that actually fit and an all-you-can-eat-chocolate-and-cheese diet. Welcome to my party.

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FEBRUARY 18, 2010 8:16AM

From Puberating to Dating in 2.3 seconds

Rate: 48 Flag

 

The longer I’m a parent, the more it occurs to me that this parenting gig would be so much easier if kids either came with instruction manuals or if they skipped the teen years altogether.  What’s worse is discovering that the same parents can have multiple children wired so differently from one another that you start to wonder if someone’s been dumping funky chemicals in the water of the gene pool.  

When it comes to child-rearing, just because you’ve figured it out with one of your kids doesn’t guarantee you’ll know what to do with the rest of them.

My 13-year-old son has a girlfriend.  Even though I have socks older than this child, he is apparently mature enough to be in a relationship with someone of the opposite sex.  This hasn’t concerned me up to this point.  Since she goes to another school, their relationship has consisted solely of phone calls to one another.  In fact, it’s hard to tell the difference between this girl and Matt’s other friends who are girls. 

I can’t remember what I had for breakfast, but I do remember being thirteen.  I liked boys but I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them.  I wasn’t the only one.  If my friends and I were “going” with a boy it meant that we passed notes around to each other proclaiming our love for a certain boy but we didn’t actually let him know about it.  Once in a while, if the planets aligned properly and we both happened to be in the hallway at the same time, we would walk out to the school buses together.  That was pretty much the extent of our 8th grade romance.

Because of my own experience, I wasn’t particularly alarmed when Matt asked if his girlfriend could come over to our house this past weekend.  I figured they’d play video games, fuss over the dog, and act annoyed at Matt’s younger brother. 

This isn’t exactly what happened.

Allow me to set the scene.  On the first floor of my house, I have a living room, a small laundry area off the living room, a kitchen, a dining room, and my office.  We do not have a family room; we do not have a finished basement.  Basically, there is one room in which to hang out.  Matt and his girlfriend naturally chose the living room.

After our introductions, I went into the office to finish up some work, figuring I could keep an ear tuned to any mischief that they might get into.  Dan was sitting at the dining room table doing some paperwork, again within earshot.   

I could hear the two of them playing with the dog for the first 10 minutes after the girlfriend’s arrival, but then I suddenly couldn’t hear anything else.  This was odd.  Shouldn’t I hear video game sounds or at least sounds of conversation?  Nothing, not a single sound, came from that living room. 

My youngest son, Evan, came down the stairs at the same time I was pondering how to casually check up on them.  I didn’t want to be overly protective or intrusive, but still, it was awfully quiet out there.         

     “Hey, Evan,” I whispered.  “Can you please peek in the living room and see what Matt and his girlfriend are doing?”  Evan was happy to oblige since he was curious, too.  Matt’s friends were always way more interesting than anything currently happening in his 9-year-old world.

After a minute, Evan came back.      

      “I think they’re kissing or something.”

What?! Kissing? At thirteen years old?  I jumped out of my office chair and ran to the laundry area where I could spy on them more easily.  They were not kissing, but were sitting next to one another on the sofa, each one hugging the other and each sharing an earbud to Matt’s iPod.  They weren’t moving.  They were totally still and frozen in an awkward embrace, one that would surely land me at the chiropractor’s office. 

Their hug was not a gentle one, nor was it a sensual one.  It was more like they were holding on to one another in a desperate attempt to keep each other from blowing away.

I gathered some clothes from a basket in the living room and put them in the washer.  Matt and his girlfriend did not move.  I walked back out into the living room to clean up some dog toys.  Still, they did not move.  Not a finger, a hand, or an eyelid. 

I didn’t know what to do.  My oldest son never did this.  He wasn’t even into girls when he was thirteen.  I went into the dining room and nudged Dan.        

      “You’ve got to do something,” I whispered.  “Matt and his girlfriend are hugging each other for too long.”      

      “What am I supposed to do about it?”      

      “I don’t know.  He’s your son.  Make them stop.  Make them play video games like normal 13-year olds.”       

     “How am I supposed to do that?”       

      “I don’t know.  You’re the one with the Y-chromosome.  I figured you'd know what to do.  At least go see for yourself.”

Dan got up to go into the kitchen but took the long way so that he could walk through the living room.       

     “Well?” I asked when Dan returned, anxious for his opinion on the two lovebirds.       

     “They’re just sitting there, hugging, listening to music.  I can see their hands, and they’re not moving into places they shouldn’t, so I say we leave them alone.  Besides, they’re not going to do anything with us right here.”   

Leave them alone?  It infuriated me that Dan was so nonchalant about the whole thing.  Images of a 14-year old Matt holding a baby in one arm while playing with Legos in the other flooded my mind.       

     “But…he’s hugging…a girl.  Our son who builds teepees in the back yard is hugging a girl.”

Dan shot me a look suggesting that I was entering Helicopter Mom territory.  I didn’t care.  This was all new to me and I wanted to handle it responsibly.  None of the dozens of parenting books I’d read when my kids were younger prepared me for anything like this.  In my own childhood, I wasn’t even allowed to date until I was 16.  Everything about this felt strange and new to me and I didn’t like it one bit.  Was I being a prude?  It’s possible, since I had been raised Catholic with the standard curriculum of All Touch is Bad Touch.  Still, I had no time to sort all of that out.  Something had to be done now.

When in doubt, do laundry, so that’s exactly what I did.  In between loads, I clipped coupons at the kitchen table so I could maintain a direct view of Matt and his girlfriend.  They did not seem to mind the audience, nor did they act as if they’d been caught doing anything wrong when I walked into the room.  Once in a while, they’d shift position slightly, or would stop hugging long enough to change the song on Matt’s iPod, but basically they sat quietly with their arms around one another for the entire time she was at our house.

I’m still not sure if I handled the situation appropriately.  All I know is that if this is the how the 8th grade set behaves these days, then I need a crash course on teen dating. 

That, and some incredibly strong anti-anxiety medication.              

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Yikes! We're going through the same thing with our 15-year-old. The whole thing started over Christmas break. gulp. At least the kids feel comfortable in your house where you can peek in on them (at least that's what I tell myself;-). Your exchange with your husband is almost verbatim what happened over here last weekend.....
"Their hug was not a gentle one, nor was it a sensual one. It was more like they were holding on to one another in a desperate attempt to keep each other from blowing away." .... Ooohhhh, the sweetness of that young couple melted my heart.
What a brilliant, funny post. I feel so identified, I think I need some of your anti-anxiety medication too, hehe!
Kisses and take it easy,
Marcela
"When in doubt do laundry" is brilliant. I think the CIA should adopt that tactic for spying.
Wow, your 13-year-old boy is way ahead of mine...a very pretty girl baked him a dozen cupcakes (from scratch!) for his birthday, and when I asked if they "liked" each other he looked at me like I had a third eye. I would find the situation alarming too - right down to the baby and the Legos.
I meant "envisioning" the baby and the Legos. I do understand that that part of the story was in your fertile imagination. :)
When the going get's tough, the tough do laundry . . .

I do love the image of sharing the earplugs. It's so 21st century--Steven Jobs is probably chortling at the thought. Oh, brave new world. Good luck with it!
Oh my goodness, my daughter is approaching 12 and they talk about boyfriend and girlfriends, but so far I've been able to observe throufh her friend and another boy who decided the "liked" each other, and then that night at a church function when they could talk, they ignored each other until they were safely in the car (the friend stayed the night at our house) and then texted each other. I told my daughter she can't date until she's thirty. Right now she's fine with writing a letter to a boy snail mail. I'll be right with you with the anxiety meds. i-yi-yi!
Oh, that's hysterical. Bless your poor shattered nerves.
Dang. Sounds like they had fun . . . or something.
I created an account just so I could remark that MY thirteen-year-old (7th grade) also has a girlfriend. Their relationship seems to consist of text messages and seeing each other school, birthday parties and dances. And, yes, I read the text messages occasionally.

When I get my anxiety meds I will share with you...meanwhile, it is comforting to know I am not alone in this boat.
Oh girl. at 12 i was making out in a friend's basement with a guy i just friended on FB:) And I was still a virgin when I went to college. kissing at 12 is tres normale!!! But have a discussion with him about the whole oral sex thing... girls that age are going down on boys with great regularity (while receiving nothing in return). Please let him know that fellatio is NOT normal dating behavior, even if everyone says it is.... It is seriously time for the next level of The Talk. Good luck.
Great and funny story, which I rated.

It is probably no longer a valid experience, BUUUT, when I was his age guys were bragging about getting"to first base." Mostly they lied about that. I got there once and shortly after stopped meeting her at the movies to neck, she was a year older than me, blond, blue eyed and prematurely well developed. Every guy was after her, and for some reason she picked me.

We moved away and I heard a few years later she got pregnant by her high school boy Friend. They got married at 16-17. Funny because she was very bright, college material.

Most guys lie about how far they get, so do many girls, at least they did way back then.
Still, I wouldn't spy, that will alienate him, last thin you want is to lose his respect and spying will do that.My dad listened to my phone calls and mom did but when I started college and she was intensely protective which drove me crazy.

I would sit him down and talk turkey with him and now is the rime to do it. Tell him what a great and sacred responsibility sex is and how awesome is the power to reproduce and how often premature sex can wreck destroy love and reputations and even lives. Beyond that, I would not venture because at some point, you have to trust him and at some point he needs a release, so he needs to know about protection for both of them. I would advise from a health standpoint that kids and adults stay away from the Pill. I keep hearing the horror stories from both men and women about blood clots and worse, even if they do not fit the profile. I am not a physician but I don't trust them any more. They are all part of the Right wing nut paranoia.
Rated for "when in doubt, do laundry" and for overall brilliance. Great post. I'm still at the breast milk phase of parenthood myself, but will save this for future reference.
Sounds pretty normal to me. Could be a lot, lot worse.

Ah, eighth-grade love. When I was 13, we danced what I call The Frankenstein. That's where you slow dance with your arms straight out, holding your partner as far from you as possible, and shift from one foot to the other.

And I kissed the 15-year-old neighbor boy when I was 12. He, another boy, and my 10-year-old brother were all playing with their BB guns and our Dad was asleep in the basement because he worked nights. Then the neighbor boy brought over his 12-gauge shotgun. He let the boys fire it at tin cans, but wouldn't let me fire it unless I kissed him first. So I did. I didn't expect him to shove his tongue halfway down to my tonsils.

Important lesson learned. Did I mention that he had a mouth full of Skoal at the time?

I was seriously in my early 20s before I really wanted to French-kiss anyone again.

Meanwhile, Dad slept like a baby.

Rated.
Too bad your son doesn't live closer - I'd like to introduce him to my daughter.

"Besides, they’re not going to do anything with us right here.” Didn't hold true for her. We allowed her to go over to her "friend's" house (he's 15, she's 14) because both parents and kid brother were there and they'd be watching movies. My mom radar was buzzing when we picked her up but she wouldn't tell us what had happened for a week. The "perfect gentleman" was an absolute cad on his way to being a real predator. Be very proud that your son doesn't fall into this category. The cad's mom got a phone call from my husband and our daughter has cooled on the dating scene significantly. They grow up much too fast these days.
Axe no questions and I'll tell you no lies (Sorry, Lisa). Let me tell you that with three daughters, you have it really easier. This only gets better when they all move out of the house.

Serously trust your instincts. You can't only hope that all you've taught your chuildren will have sunk in and they'll come and talk with you when you have questions. It could be worse, you could have three girls.
LOL! In five years' time, however, I'll be asking you to share your meds...
Rated for laundry, nerves, and courage.
Is he borrowing his older brother's Axe?
Longer wires on those earbuds for the iPod.....preferably twenty feet.
R
I really liked reading that, and as a 13 year old girl, who has been in that kind of an akward half hug, your descrition was spot on. Truth be told, alot of 13 year olds these days, encluding myself, have boyfriends/girlfriends, and sadly there is alot of kissing going on behind the adults backs. It is quite possible that they stoped kissing after Evan walked it, its exactly what I would have done. Anyway, thanks for the great post, hope to read more soon.
This is too funny. My son is 12 and still seems to have more interest in Legos than girls at this point. Who knows what will happen in the next year though!

Funny story:)
Should I be happy that my 12 year-old son is extremely shy? He likes two girls from his class, but he barely dares to say "Hi!" to them every day.

He's very handsome, though, so I fear at one point it'll be the girls making their move. So we'll see...
My mother made friends with my middle school 'boyfriend's' parents, and it helped in two ways:
1. We got to spend more time together, because our parents trusted us and each other.
2. A couple of years later, when we did start experimenting with sex, we were caught in like 2.3 seconds.

I'd say call the girl's parents, and explain to your son that if he's old enough to have a girlfriend, he's old enough to face a meeting of the families dinner. :)
OMG I am laughing so hard - I had to stop reading at Lisa Solod W's comment because I had an image of you(Lisa) passing out cold on the kitchen floor~! hahahahahahahah OMG - the fact is LSW is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. This is a new age, my friend. I think the hugging and kissing stuff is normal - but thinking that they are naturally as constrained or restricted or embarrassed as we may have been way back then will NOT serve you. hahahahahahahahaha - are you up yet? Should someone call 911? Lots of love my dear - hahahahahahahahahaha.
Here - let me help you up. Maybe you can just send him an email. hahahaahahahahahaha. Oh lord. hahahahahaha
I think the hug is a sweet way for them to express that they like each other... better than some alternatives. I can remember just wanting to disappear inside my boyfriend's arms in junior high... nothing sexual about it, just the feeling of having someone care about me, and that I cared about in return.

Of course, my kids are still very young, ask me again when they're teenagers!
Hilarious! When you're done with the teen dating manual and the anti-anxiety meds, you can pass them to me. I think I'll need them pretty early, since Jacob is already flirting with every blonde waitress he sees! R
The general rule is: Kids should wait until about one-third of their classmates have dated before they start. Wait any longer, and they're a hopeless weirdo. Any sooner, and they're a slut. But hey, somebody had to be first, and I wasn't gonna sit on the sidelines any longer....
Awesome. Rated for "when in doubt, do laundry."

(and I think I'll be in your shoes far sooner than I'd like! Mr. Tadpole is 12.)
Don't panic. Hugging and kissing (boyfriends or girlfriends) is perfectly normal 13 year old behavior. Make sure your son knows all the facts about (relatively) safe sex, though. Even though he's probably years away from going there, it's better to teach too early than too late.
sweet, and funny, and charming...rated
It looks like I'm not the only one with a child who's into dating sooner than I expected.

Bonnie - Thanks for the kind words. The hug was nearly beyond words.

Nelly - I agree. Even though I felt uncomfortable, at least they were here, within laundry-distance.

Marcela - I think I was too stressed out to realize that they were being very sweet with one another. Thanks for showing me another perspective.

Raving Bits - Your comment made me laugh! Thanks so much. :)

Ann - Mine was the same way not too long ago. When it kicks in, it kicks in quickly.

AtHomePilgrim - Yeah, the earbuds...the difference between being 13 and being 46 is that at 13, you don't think twice about putting someone else's earbuds in your ears. At 46, the skeevishness of it wins out.

Anne - I wish I'd thought of the "you can't date until you're thirty" strategy. That would solve so many problems!

Ash - Thank you. My nerves ARE shattered!

Owl - Hopefully it was only fun that they had and not something else.

Workinprogress - How nice that you joined just to comment here! Thank you. Believe me, you are FAR from being alone in this. I have a feeling there's going to be a run on Xanax before we get these teens raised.

Lisa - Were you trying to make me feel better or worse? :)

WalkAwayHappy - I love the way you end your phone calls. There's a woman at our local Wal-mart who tells every customer, "Bye-bye, I love you, don't smoke!" I use that one on my own kids because it's just so cool, although yours fits the current situation much better.

Pete - Oh yes - it's a delicate balance for sure. Being overly protective backfires in a big way, but being too unconcerned doesn't work either. I'm striving to keep communication open with him, and make sure he has the information he needs to remain safe and healthy.

Mary - Oh, I miss the stage of parenting that you're at currently. Life was so sweet and simple back then (albeit exhausting.) You probably hear this from everyone but enjoy every moment; they grow up so fast.
Leeandra - Your comments are the best - they're like mini stories. Can I just say EWWWW to the Skoal kiss? Ewww!

bluesurly - I'm glad that your daughter got away from that jerk. So many girls find it so hard to move on. After reading your comment, I am REALLY happy that I have boys.

Sheepy - Axe-sually (ha! you made me do it!), after reading the comments of people who have girls, I am thanking my lucky stars that I have all boys.

Wordsmith - In five years, I'll be having the same issues with my 9-year-old. We'd better make those meds EXTRA strong!

Maria - No Axe, thank goodness! I wouldn't want all of the girls throwing themselves at him. :)

LandP - I like your imagery of each kid being tuned into a different channel. That fits it perfectly. Thanks so much for stopping by and for such nice compliments. XOXO

Donna - Oh, your comment made me HOWL with laughter! Yes, indeed, twenty foot long earbud cords would be most helpful.

Learning how to Cook - Thank you for your comment. I appreciate your perspective since you're the same age as my son and his girlfriend. Thanks, too, for your kind words. I appreciate them.
Eden - My son has always been a Lego-maniac. Apparently they can progress from building blocks to girls much faster than we can imagine!

kerc - My son was always extremely shy, too. He started coming out of his shell last year and now look at him - a girlfriend! They change so quickly. Best get those anti-anxiety meds now so you're ready.

BikeLizard - I like your idea a lot. I'm going to befriend her parents. If nothing else, it can't hurt to have another set of eyes on these two.

1IMom - Ok, first Lisa SW and now you. Please tell me you weren't purposely trying to give me a panic attack. Just wait 'til yours get there. Better be nice to me or I won't share my coping meds with you. :)

She Blogs - Wow, thank you for that viewpoint. It makes me feel a lot better. We all need people who "get" us and care about us. Maybe that's all that's going on here.

Blue in TX - Uh oh. Sounds like you're going to have your hands full with Jacob!

themanhattankid - There sure are many unwritten "rules" of popularity, aren't there? :)

froggy - Sounds like you'll be dealing with Puberating issues of your own with Mr. Tadpole soon. Maybe we can compare notes!

Eva T - You know it! Better that they're informed too soon rather than too late. Thanks for stopping by, and of course, for remaining so supportive. XOXO

mistercomedy - It's so nice to see you here! I'm going to head over to your blog to see if you've written anything new. I'm jonesing for your stuff, man.
It actually sounds really sweet to me. I wish I'd had a guy to hug me when I was 13. And compared to what a lot of kids are doing by age 13, this sounds incredibly innocent. But I get what you're worried about, too.
I love this piece. The awkward hugging seems very sweet--and (thankfully) virginal. Then I started reading the comments, and I thought, "Oh, my God, Lisa's concerned about hugging, and now fellatio is on the table?"

A friend of mine worked in a teen pregnancy-prevention program that was quite controversial in our small town (a shame, since we have a high teen-pregnancy rate). Some parents didn't want to believe that their children were thinking about sex, talking about sex . . . having sex. My friend said, "Some of the things we address leave Mom and Dad red-faced, but believe me, their kids are talking about it."

Unsolicited advice from someone who never had children? Take some of those nice meds, do another load of laundry, think about the points you want to make, enlist Dan as your co-presenter, maybe do a dry run with one another, and then have a little discussion with Matt. He seems really sweet and innocent, but it will set your mind at ease.
loved to read it. am so glad i'm not dealing with it. why is it never what we used to do, which we might have some clue how to handle, but something, umm, different?
Silkstone - Yes, it was sweet, once I got over the initial shock of seeing the physical contact. I just don't want things progressing too far from that sweet stage - or too fast!

WSFTC - Thank you! By the way, does throwing things at the boy on the computer work?

Jimmy - I'll tell him you said that. P. S. Why are you men always so calm and reasonable? Oh right. Because we women are always nuts and emotional enough for both of us. :)

Susan - Your advice is sound. We've definitely entered the realm of having to have "The Talk, the Sequel Edition."

femme - I wonder the same thing. It would be lovely for once to have a situation in life with which I actually have some experience in handling.

incandescent - I hope you brought some anxiety meds with you because you are totally not making me feel better!
Excellent post.
You know I'm an eighth grade teacher, right? So, by my standards, the two of them are behaving normally and rather innocently. (Doesn't mean it won't give you a stroke.) Now, when I was a ninth grade teacher, I did my share of baby showers.

"It was more like they were holding on to one another in a desperate attempt to keep each other from blowing away." Lovely. Isn't that what all people in love, who realize how fragile life is, do?

Rated.
V. - 9th grade baby showers? ::thud:: Can someone pass the smelling salts, please?

Janie - I feel like calling your mom, too, because I'm just as clueless about all of this as you are. You'd never know that I've already raised one teenager. This second one is waaaaaay different.
I took my (then) 14 year old son and his girl friend for a drive to get ice cream and proceeded to tell them every sex horror story I've ever heard - including a few that I made up on the spot (something about sneezing at an inopportune moment leading to castration). Then I asked them to envision everything that they might be thinking about doing, and then I told them to envision me and his dad doing the same thing. It's possible I made both of them celibate.
Deven - Yours might be the best parenting advice I've ever received. Sneezing, castration, Mom and Dad. Got it. Thanks!
I seldomly comment, but T&D (BTW, congrats on the feature) made me laugh so much I had to: yes, it is scary. I've just been lucky that I never had to do "the talk" to my girls (my son got an abbreviated one) because they were just too busy to have a "standard-issue" BF/GF. But Deven's advice is priceless as it meshes with recent strips on "Zits", the comic (google it, and take a look at Feb 19, 15, 13, and 11). I may still have a chance!
I kid you not. My last pregnancy, picture this: I, the thirty-five year old teacher pregnant, my student, twenty years my junior, pregnant, too. Comparing doctor's visits, morning sicknesses. Crazy. I've seen it happen so many times. Pisses me off still.
This WAS very well written. I also loved the hug description. I have 2 boys, 18 & 15. Fortunately, they are both quite introverted and my older son (almost 19) has been dating a girl for 2 years. My younger son used to have girlfriends in class during middle school, but expresses dis-interest now.

I told both of them (numerous times as they've grown) that "Society" judges girls differently than it judges boys, and I didn't want them to ever pressure a girl, or be responsible for a girl feeling bad about herself. I told them girls frequently attached a lot more emotion to sex than boys, and they should always be aware of it. But if they did, they needed to use safe sex because of pregnancy, of course, and I also added they were sleeping with whoever she may have slept with before also. It sounds a little harsh now, but they needed to know the risks, I guess.

When my oldest started seriously dating his girlfriend, we had some open conversations about safe sex, and waiting until you are emotionally ready. Couldn't tell you where they are at this point, but they attend the same college. I think they waited a good year. I figured after they stopped talking about it, it had probably happened. And somehow I was okay with it.

Don't know if this helps or not. For the most part, I just feel randomly blessed that I didn't have to deal with it too early!
Cerro - I love that comic strip! I love T&D, too. Thanks for following her here and taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate it.

V. - You were comparing pregnancies with a 14 year old? Crazy is right! P. S. You know you're giving me a panic attack, right? :)

Julie - I think your advice is terrific. In fact, the "you're-sleeping-with-everyone-she's-ever-slept-with" is advice that I've given to my oldest son. I just didn't imagine that I'd have to deal with any of this kind of talk at age 13. I thought I had a few years left! Good luck with your kids. As you know, they grow up so fast and will be out of our hair too soon.
A very well-put and funny account of what I put my parents through back in the day. rated!
Caroline - Thank you! It's amazing how we have new appreciation for our parents the older we get, isn't it?
I loved this post. The youngest of my four daughters should have joined the CIA. She reported most faithfully and thoroughly on her three older sister's crimes and misdemeanors. Then she would smile adorably, cover her mouth, and say, "I forgot; I am not supposed to tell."

Yet they so adored her that they invited her to make long visits to them at college. I was always rather disconcerted how many of their friends apparently knew her well:) Now she is a high school teacher, and I doubt any of her students can put one over on her.
Your writing is priceless! The situation sounds sweet and innocent, especially compared to what I heard in 29 years of teaching middle school. However, I think about 50% of the rumors were made up by peers to trash each other, and only involved about 20% of the general middle school population. At least that seemed to be my own daughters' take on the teen sex situation AT THAT AGE...from 15 on, no telling. As the mother of two daughters, it's good to hear the other side - protecting your sons...but I'm glad my daughters are beyond this scary stage. That is part of why both my daughters are really good at karate...
Redstocking Grandma - What a cute story! The stuff that kids come up with it is the BEST. Thank you so much for taking time to read and comment. I appreciate it.

Susan - I hope you're right about the rumors, but being a middle school teacher, I'm sure you're more in tune with teens this age than anyone. I have every intention of making sure that my son stays at the harmless stage for as long as possible, or age 30, whichever comes first. :)
oh god.

I don't know what I'd do. I can't even imagine. I don't WANT them to be that comfortable with one another's bodies. I DON"T. I have a 12 yr old granddaughter. and this is not going to be easy for me to see when I see it which fortunately isn't nearly as often as her mother and father (although knowing them both, their reactions are probably going to be more in the mode of DO NOT TOUCH EACH OTHER sort of thing, which like you, I don't know is appropriate or what.) (JEEZE)
Foolish Monkey - It's a strange new world in young-teen dating. Wanna share my anti-anxiety meds?
I have the meds. Call me.

I have a thirteen year old daughter who, if she's not careful, going to witness a vein blow out of the side of my neck like Mount St. Helens.
I'm just now finding your wonderful stories. As a mother of a tween girl, I feel the anxiety in your post, and the humor strikes me in the vein of "Dear God, please let my girl stay little forever." I can also relate to the "when in doubt, do laundry." Feeding the laundry monster makes you feel like you're accomplishing something.
Writer Mom - They do know all the ways of pushing our buttons, don't they? Hard to believe that they were just babies yesterday - or at least it felt that way.

Lucy - Welcome to the Sisterhood of Mothers Who Worry. The pay is lousy, the hours are long, but no other position has this degree of job security. Or is it INsecurity?
How did I miss this? I am hyperventilating as my oldest is now approaching his 12th bday and I am trying to decide which girl he will be "hugging" first. We should all just set-up a dating support phone tree right now as we are obviously in for a looooong ride!
mamoore - I hear you. It takes a strong stomach, and a killer calling plan, to parent teenagers.