What I Learned From Dry January
What Is Relationship “Popcorning” And Am I Guilty?
The Fifty-First Official Friday Night BeerBlog
The Seventy-Fourth Official Friday Night BeerBlog
What’s With The Friday Night BeerBlog (FNBB) Anyway?
The Seventy-Second Official Friday Night BeerBlog
Married 26 Years Last Month – The McShane Secrets To A Successful (ish) Marriage.
You’re a Savage. Classy. Bougie. Ratchet.
The Eighty-Third Official Friday Night BeerBlog
The Eighth Official Friday Night BeerBlog
I Can See Clearly Now The Dirt Is Gone
The Twenty-Third Official Friday Night BeerBlog
When Your Kids Attach Themselves To Someone Else
May 28, 2021 – The eighteenth official Friday Night BeerBlog
I’m going to throw one of my younger step-brothers under the bus here. When he was a freshman in college and came around with his young girlfriend, they were routinely found sitting in one chair together, the girlfriend draped across his lap. They clung to each other desperately, giggled privately, and whispered endearments loud enough for everyone to hear.
Gag me with a spoon! When Mike and I started dating, we were 26 and 29 years old. We did our fair share of canoodling, but we did it in private or just with friends around. There was no need to gross out the family. I waited for my mother or step-father to say, “Hey, give each other some air to breathe.” But they never did. There may have been a weird vibe, but nobody ever said anything. Personally, I wanted to tell them to get a room, but since he was my younger brother, that didn’t seem appropriate.
My kids were always big huggers. They probably get that from me. I love to hug. They both grew up snuggling with both of us. When Ian had to take a breathing treatment, one of us always sat with him to soothe him because it sucked. And when Cate constantly got hurt from doing something stupid, we were there to lay down with her until she fell asleep. My favorite pics are those with Ian hugging my leg or Cate holding tight to Mike’s neck.
We always encouraged our kids to show affection. “Hug your grandmother”, “Thank your friend”, “Go give Cece some sugar”. And so they grew up feeling free to show their love. It’s a good thing. That safe, baby love. Love that solidifies a family or friend bond. But then they grow up and the affection starts to mean something completely different.
Both of my kids were late bloomers and in college before they started dating. Mike and I didn’t have those high school years where they brought around love interests. Therefore we never saw them in that way. Ian was the first to date, get his heart broken, and then start dating again. He was also the first to bring someone home to meet us.
And so it began. The sitting close on the couch. The holding hands. The looks that were embarrassing to intrude on. Stories in their eyes that I did not want to know. Another female was getting to know my boy in a way I never would. Obviously it was normal and good, but as a mother it was awkward. He was my baby boy and that’s gross.
Then my little girl started dating someone at school – 15 hours away. We couldn’t meet him. Then her own broken heart. But they got back together, then broke up again, only to reunited yet again. It was enough back and forth to make this mom want to tell her girl to kick this boy to the curb. But then he came to Louisville to meet us and turned out to be very nice and seemed to like Cate. But why did he have to touch her all the time? And why does she have to act like a total idiot when he’s around.
Ahhhhh, to be old and cynical. Young love. I was there a few times. But it’s so strange when you see your kids in it. And I’m sure my face is often stoic, just like my mother and step-father’s as we sat around ignoring my step-brother and his girlfriend in that chair. Now I know what that vibe was. It was the parental internal conversation of dare say something and die?
People are always asking me if I like Cate’s boyfriend. My answer is always “Yes, I guess.” and I get looks. Let me clarify. Yes I like him. Obviously he is a good kid. He smart, driven, has nice parents, and he really likes Cate, which is paramount. The thing I’m always thinking about when someone asks me that question is how I feel about all the PDA that I’m to witness between my baby and this boy. I’m dealing with seeing my daughter in this new light so stop asking me if I like him!
But it’s getting easier. When Mike and I recently moved Cate out of her dorm room for the final time, her BF was there and they had a new thing. One of them would go up to the other one, grab and squeeze them and yell “BARNACLE!” and they would kiss and laugh. This didn’t happen once in the two days we were there, it happened at least a dozen or two dozen times. Mike and I didn’t acknowledge or talk about it until the drive home. He said something funny and I leaned over and hugged his arm and yelled “BARNACLE!”. We both LOST it! Each of us had been witnessing the same thing and found humor in it. As cheesy as we think “Barnacle” is, they are young and happy. Barf.
I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to either one of my babies loving someone like that, but I’m sure my mom and Mike’s mom felt and still feel the same way. I’m sure all parents go through that weird vibe when they start to see their kids in this semi-adult situation. No longer innocent, but tender and emotional in a gooey way. It’s a beautiful thing, but it still grosses me out a little.
Such is life.
YO! The podcast version is HERE: