Did you ever fall in love when you were a teenager? Did you have a secret boyfriend because you couldn’t let your parents know about it? Do you remember how it started? Do you remember how it ended? In fact, did it ever “end” at all?
All I know is that it made me so giddy, that I kept a memorabilia of his first gift to me – the yellow wrapper of M&M peanuts. Kept that for 20 years inside this wooden box of stuff. Yes, he became my boyfriend and nothing happened. Nothing, meaning we didn’t have sex.
But the butterfies were there. Perhaps they’re the same butterflies that screwed up my innards when I finally met the person I decided to be with for life. The sunshine was there. The same sunshine that dawns on me each time I see the smile on the ones I love. The pain of longing was vivid at that time too. Experiences that in a way, shaped my ideals of what I want in a relationship as I got older.
Which brings me to what I am experiencing right now as a parent.
My son is caught in the throes of teenage love and although he is not as giddy and sentimental as me, he is very much grounded. On a quiet Sunday evening he tells me, “you can’t stop us from having sex, you know.”
I was doing my laundry and in a matter of fact, way I said, “I know that.”
“But don’t worry mom,” he smiled, ” once we decide to do it and if we end up doing it, I promise – I will use a condom.”
“Does that mean I should give you a ‘condom allowance’?” I asked.
“Nah, it’s too soon. It’s not even in the horizon yet,” he said.
“So sexting is enough?” I asked.
“Yes. It is not what you think it is or normally read, but it is more than enough,” he smiled thoughtfully. “And don’t give me the lecture about not respecting women. I respect her. She has been my friend for 3 years and this change in the relationship didn’t make a difference in the way I see her and treat her.”
“I know. Actually, sexting is technically solo masturbation which I think is the best birth control method – ever,” I grinned.
“Maaaaaaaaaaa!” my son rolls his eyes and blushes.
“Fine, fine – hey I’m a parent. I think I have a right to be upfront. If I don’t talk about it, use the correct terms and put everything on the table, you won’t know what I’m talking about.” I said in a very serious tone.
I also think I’ll be writing about this for some time … because I don’t think this is the first time this issue will crop up.