It’s Saturday afternoon and I am hiding in my home office, completely intimidated by what is happening one floor below. Dave is conveniently out, leaving me alone to face the inevitable…alone.
There is a 12 year old girl in my living room. With my 12 year old son. They are writing a song together. I am fascinated and mortified – which when combined should make me fortified – but in reality I’m a bit of a dorky mess.
In the spirit of full disclosure:
They are not alone in the living room. A few other friends have joined the song writing session.
I have been informed in no uncertain terms that she is not his “girlfriend”. Yes, I understand there is a difference between a “girl who is a friend” and “girlfriend”. Considering I was once classified as the former by the man to whom I have been married for 16 years, the distinction is completely irrelevant to me.
This is not the first girl we have had in our house. But this is the first girl who did not come to us attached to parents who happened to be friends of ours. She is a complete unknown – and someone Noah thinks highly enough of to have over. This distinction is notable because, when it comes to girls at school, we usually hear about how annoying they are.
I decide that the best thing I can do for Noah in this situation is to be as invisible as possible, despite my urge to settle in the living room and play spectator. Chase and his buddy Ben, on the other hand, have no shame whatsoever and immediately embed themselves in the action. On any other occasion, I would insist that Noah include his little brother in whatever he was doing – but for some reason, this feels different so I gently tell Chase and Ben to beat it. They reluctantly skulk off to the Wii and I reluctantly retreat back to hiding in my office.
The music rises from the living room, but it’s really the conversation I want to hear. How do 12 year old species of the opposite gender communicate these days? Unfortunately, the acoustics in our house are such that you can’t hear diddly outside the room you are occupying. I make a note to myself of this situation for when the girl in house isn’t just a buddy.
After about an hour, I can’t help but to sneak a peak. I pop with a cheery, “how’s it going?” They are working very hard on the song – and they sound really good. I immediately decide that this girl can hang with guys – and is devoid of all High School Musical / Twilight /Justin Beiberness that Noah finds so distasteful in other women. She seems smart and independent and way cute and I wonder how long it will take for Noah’s heart to break into tiny, tiny pieces and …..
Getting ahead of myself?
Sure I am. But it’s coming. Maybe not with this girl and maybe not this week, but it is right around the corner. And while you all know what I mean when I say “it”, Noah hasn’t got a clue.
Part of the beauty of being 12 years old is your myopia. You have the luxury of focusing only on matters directly in front of you, because you can’t see much beyond them. As a parent far, far down the road, you look back and see your child traveling the same path you did long ago. And you wonder if it’s time to offer the map. Then you realize that you need one too – if for nothing else than to find your way out of your office and back downstairs.