The Parent Check

By Laura

I was not prepared for this.

We spent loads of time on this blog celebrating and encouraging young women. I was not prepared to come face to face with a young man.

I’ve written before about my stepson. When I met him, he was this adorable mop-of-red-hair kid. I’ve had two babies of my own now and just folded him in with my crew. They watch cartoons, they are pickiest gosh darn eaters on the planet, they get cranky when they are sleepy. They are kids.

But then it turns out those babies hit puberty. He has acne and facial hair and smells funny. AND HE WATCHES ADULT TV.

I was putting my babies to bed one evening and he asked to watch a show. I didn’t think twice. He was on spring break and could stay up late. What harm is there?

I had one baby down and one to go and walked through the living room. On my television there was a scantily clad woman wine telling the shirtless man that “it” was okay – her sister would never know. I panicked. I went to grab the remote and started to change the channel when it clicked. This was the show he wanted to watch.

I stuffed my eyeballs back in my head, quietly sucked in air, and kept on walking.

What?! Wait?! He isn’t old enough for this. It’s a really adult theme… when I was his age… holy sh!t…. when I was his age, I was reading trashy romance novels, I was over the moon for boys who played soccer… I wore too much makeup and vamped it up inappropriately for a teenage girl, because, duh, teenage boys.

And now there was one in my living room. Double gulp.

I watched a little more of this trashy (read: probably good) show and realized it was a vigilante justice type show – a modern Batman-esque thing – and he does love superheroes. The sex, drugs, and rock and roll were ‘minor’ to the plot – our hero was fighting corruption. I spoke with my husband about it and he too had watched a couple of episodes with him.

Okay, so we both watched some with him separately and let him nudge his way into young manhood. Parenting check! Wait, do I get to say parenting check because we not only watched but approved the show?! My household is not a democracy, so – YES.

I will protect my babies – all my babies – my entire life, regardless of their age, but at some point I hope those babies will become solid adults.

That is my real parenting check: when they succeed.

And I expect bumps along this path. Bumps from this adventure:

 

  1. Don’t just say yes – it may not be Snoopy on your television.
  2. There is WAY TOO MUCH SKIN on tv between the hours of 7-9 pm.
  3. Superheroes make it better
  4. He is taller than me, but I win because I buy the food he inhales.
  5. Teenage girls do not have a clue how much teenage boys smell.

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