So Nick has a girlfriend.
She’s a lovely, sweetheart of a girl who I adore. They have been friends for three years and more than that for maybe six months.
Her mother? Not quite as fond of my wonderful 16-year-old son. Or rather the idea of him being in love with her youngest-of-seven-daughters daughter.
His girlfriend is deaf and the baby of her family by quite a lot. A double whammy in the over-protective-parenting lottery, right?
So anyway. I got a phone call from her mother today.
She walked in on her daughter having an ‘inappropriate’ computer conversation with my son.
My son has Asperger’s Syndrome. Her daughter is deaf. Between the two of them they have about half-an-ounce of social skills. (I really love both of them. I do. But I’m being honest here. He can’t read facial cues or body language. She can’t, for obvious reasons, read anything but. Jack Sprat could eat no fat…)
Okay. So once I assured myself that this was a mutual ‘inappropriateness’ and not my socially inept son not catching on to the meaning of ‘no,’ I listened. It wasn’t easy. At all.
What I heard was her telling me that her daughter might be 17, but inside she’s 12.
What I held back with the strength of Hercules was…WRONG. Your daughter is 17, but inside she’s a hormonal mess, clearly firing with all cylinders.
And I admit that while this woman is telling me about how she’s punishing her daughter by taking away her phone and her computer and her boyfriend–I can’t bring myself to punish my kid.
How do you not rejoice that this conversation took place between kids who were at least 10 miles apart, and who are never, ever together without adult (and five-year-old sister) supervision? They don’t go to school together, they live in different towns (so there is no sneaking off together), and like I said they have zero unsupervised time together. They see each other in person maybe two hours once every six weeks.
So anyway. I listened. I told her I would support her decision. (Which was a one-week break followed by her daughter continuing to have no unsupervised online talk time with Nick.)
I talked to my kid. He cried. He doesn’t make friends easily. When I asked him about some of the more startling things that his girlfriend’s mother told me she found, he said it was the girl’s idea and he didn’t really even understand it all but he had been feeling like it was out of hand. (I’m not one for placing blame. But I don’t buy that her daughter is 12 inside. At all. And I know that my son is naive. He’s easily manipulated. It comes with Asperger’s.)
Okay. I feel better getting that all out.
I’m really open to any advice from any of you. How would you have handled this? Would you punish your teenager for having ‘inappropriate’ conversations with his girlfriend? Enough of Adrienne’s friends have had babies during the three years she’s been in high school that I’m pretty sure she’s decided to be a nun. This could have been infinitely worse. Right?
(I’m a little afraid if the girl’s mother doesn’t let go a little we’re going to find ourselves related via a pair of elopees in a year or so.)
(Why can’t I just have my sweet little boy back? Please? Pretty please? With sugar on top?)