if this was an episode of 'behind the music,' hall & oates would confess she's the inspiration for 'maneater'
"At lunch today, Josh yelled out to everyone in the multipurpose room that Meghan likes me," my oldest son announced casually tonight over dinner.
At 12 1/2 years old, my son is just beginning to view girls as something more than boys with a few extra parts, so it's still new for me to hear him talk about them. I'd like to think we've done enough talking over the years to prevent him from becoming the next Brian Austin Green in a remake of the Lifetime movie classic Unwed Father ("One night of passion...a lifetime of consequences!"), but with a girl like Meghan, I feel there's not enough parental advisory stickers I could slap on this (in all likelihood harmless)(but still!) crush.
Before you chastise me for saying something like "a girl like Meghan," please let me tell you that I'm not the only mother of a middle school son who has said those words. We are women who grew up having read enough Judy Blume books to know that it's not all Margaret talking to the Messiah about her menses. That girl eventually morphs into the dog-eared pages of Forever, pondering the magic they imagine The Sex will be. My fellow mothers and I have watched Meghan slide down the row of boys lined up along the gym wall waiting to take the court and then looked around our clustered masses wondering if this girl's mother was among us, watching her daughter rub the cheeks - top AND bottom - of these boys, most of whom are wide-eyed in amazement at the attention being bestowed upon them. Her giggles are loud, her hair is a whip, and her hands are like explorers sailing to uncharted lands in search of treasure - treasure I think should melt one's face off like that unfortunate Nazi chap's at the end of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark until one is at least in one's 20s and/or married, thank you very much.
From our front row seats to this nature program, we watch the star, this bubbly blond Great White shark in shuttered sunglasses and painfully tight jeans dipped into Ugg boots, attack these boys like so many blobs of bloody chum, and we wonder if we're whispering amongst ourselves, what's being said about Meghan in the school halls. I've followed the path from my son's Facebook page to her's and watched the ever-changing relationship status revolve from 'single' to 'in a relationship' more times than I can count, and wondered why 12 and 13 year old kids even think they should BE in relationships. Maybe it's just me, but I don't think you can say you're in a relationship until you've argued about monthly bills, held the other's hair back while they vomited, and/or gone through a life-changing crisis more severe than what to wear to Friday night's winter dance.
(By the way? GET OFF MY LAWN!!)
I realize kids will be kids, that this is a time of rapid fire, magical change, but wow, it makes me cringe! At one of my son's recent basketball games, it was difficult to concentrate on the game as I watched Meghan play musical chairs among the team bench. At one point, she ended up sitting next to the coach, who I thought was going to send her in when he subbed out players. At halftime, while the boys were supposed to be running drills, they were circling this girl and taking gulps from a giant red Slushee she hoisted up to each of their mouths. As they drank from her plastic chalice, she poked her tongue out at each and asked if the drink had left it blood red, all while coyly twirling her hair and doing some sort of dance routine around them. Honestly, it's nothing short of a miracle the team's had a winning season for as little attention as they seem to pay to the game (perhaps it's the 14 points per game my 12 1/2 year old son who is just starting to care about girls averages per game, but that's just a mother talking...).
So back to dinner tonight. "How about you? Do you like Meghan?" I asked after my son had made his announcement. Before he could answer, I thought of all the sly facts of life conversations we've had with him, and figured another shot at it couldn't hurt. "You know how sometimes girls like to offer their drinks to boys and it seems really nice of them, but by the time they get to you with their cup, you realize there isn't much there to drink because so many other boys before you have taken big gulps?" I asked, thinking about that Slushee episode one more time (and shuddering)(don't even get me started on the germs, people)(I mean, hello?! Meningitis, anyone?). My son just stared at me, as boys in my family are wont to do, really, so I continued "Well, not every girl has what you want to drink in her cup."
"It's OK, Mom," he responded. "I'm not really that thirsty right now."
And that, friends, is how I sighed in relief over my plate of baked rigatoni while casually talking about sex with my son without actually mentioning the word 'sex.' However, the day when he decides he is parched will likely be here before I care to admit it, so the real talk looms.
And I sigh again.