I’m THAT mom, the cool one– in my mind –who is wide open with her kids. The teen especially. She tells me things like I have a great ass for a white girl, makes a whooshing sound as she drags me across the floor while trying to pull off my boots after I’ve had one or three too many vodka tonics, and rolls her eyes super hard at the potty pic with my friend on my phone. I encourage her to make her own choices, whatever they may be, and never EVER let anyone make her feel less for them. I also tell her she’s going to make a fuckload of mistakes as she moves through life because it’s what humans do. But they’re her mistakes to make, and her responsibility to learn from them.
I’m as honest with her as I can be without scarring her for the remainder of her days. We have frank discussions about life in general, drugs, and of course, sex. She doesn’t run away screaming and she doesn’t bat an eye when it comes to asking me what most would consider uncomfortable questions about bodies and sexuality. But telling me about her first kiss was a different thing entirely.
I was at a party with friends when I was told the teen had been “making out” with her boyfriend during school. I was all like WHAT THE FUCK? THE TEEN DOESN’T EVEN HAVE A BOYFRIEND! I WOULD KNOW THESE THINGS BECAUSE SHE TELLS ME EVERYTHING! Also, vodka may have contributed to my stellar reaction. But my spidey senses said it had to be bullshit. For starters, the source was questionable, and the teen had kicked the aforementioned boyfriend to the curb weeks earlier for pressuring her to do things she wasn’t ready for. I knew this because she tells me everything, because we’re tight like that.
It turned out that she didn’t tell me everything after all. She burst into tears when I questioned her the following morning, confessing that it was true and begging me to forgive her for not being completely honest. When it came down to telling me, she was terrified of how I would react.
I was stunned, speechless even. I panicked, wondering what else she had omitted from our conversations. On the outside I stayed calm, but on the inside, my brain exploded with questions. Had she gone further? Had sex? How would I handle it if she were to get pregnant? What if she had me completely snowed? Was that even possible? Realizing I may have overreacted a little, I asked if there was anything else she had kept from me, anything I needed to know. And in the midst of hysterical sobbing, she swore there was nothing more than a kiss. Then she asked if I’d told my mother when I had my first kiss.
“Oh hell no,” I scoffed. “But we didn’t have a relationship like you and I do.”
“I know, but it’s still scary, Mom. You get crazy when you get pissed.”
Okay, so she had me there, but in the end, I wasn’t disappointed in her for kissing a boy. She’s fifteen for fuck’s sake. It was bound to happen, but I assumed she would tell me when it did. Truthfully, my feelings were a little hurt that she didn’t.
When she was an exhausted, snotty mess, I gathered her into my arms and attempted to tame her curly mane, reassuring her that she could come to me with anything, no matter how bad she thinks it may be. I promised her I would never judge her, I’d always be there for her, support her, and I’d love her to the moon and back. I also told her what an ugly crier she is, because I’m nothing if not honest.
Finally, she said, “You’re going to Facebook this, aren’t you?”