Friday, 22 June 2007

Back off, Boys

Tonight my daughter is at a disco. With boys. Tomorrow night she goes to a party. With boys. Am I worried? Just a wee bit. She's quite attractive (in my opinion), nearly my height. Fortunately, she towers over the other 12-year-old boys, a frustration for her. I know how she feels. I was the height I am now when I was her age. I had a huge crush on Andy Livingston. He was several inches shorter and only went for the cute, short girls. His loss, I say now. Back then, it was a tragedy.

I worry about her and boys because boys were a huge disappointment for me. Then when they became men, they were even worse. I didn't get my head straight about men until I was 31. I slept around a lot. Well, they were always there. And I drank a lot in those days, so my inhibitions were down. And I got myself involved with guys with substance abuse problems, mostly alcohol. My boyfriend in college was an alcoholic. My first husband was an alcoholic (though he got himself off the booze). Finally, I asked myself what it was about these alcoholics that was so appealing because they sure as shit didn't treat me right. The answer was absolutely fucking nothing.

Why the reminiscing? Well, not that I've been tagged, but I've read other people's blogs about the music they listened to when they were 18, and it brought back memories of when I was 18 and involved with College Boyfriend. We were on, we were off when he went back to his law-school girlfriend, we were on again when he realised just how gorgeous I really was, we were off when I cheated on him, we were on again, we were off again when he cheated on me, we were on, then off, then finished when I turned 21 and got my first job and lots of male attention.

Oh, my checkered past. I really don't want my daughter to have one. But I have to let her discover what she likes and doesn't like. I hope that by marrying a man who respects me and her, I will have ensured she has enough self esteem to get her through the next difficult years. I hope she stays well away from alcohol (and will tell her that) and drugs (because I did a lot of them too, though I have fond memories of them). I hope her sexual relationships are few and loving. I am ashamed to admit this but I can't even remember how many guys I had sex with. I was talking about this with my friend at my reunion. Most of us were having sex by the time we graduated. Ideally, I'd like my daughter to wait till she's at least 18 to have sex, though hormones might make her behave differently. My friend feels the same about her daughter (the other daughter is already married). We don't want our kids to drink to excess as teen-agers (something we did all the time) or to try drugs (we also were getting high all the time). I'm surprised we're still alive.

So I'm ruling out a lot of fun for them. But only because I know better. And I do KNOW better.


Pixie said...

This forst bit will be of no help but i'll say it anyway.

Two sons 21 and 16, both drink, smoke the odd joint, have sexual relationships with girls.

So far so bad.

But what they also do is be caring, compassionate, generous with their love and affection for their friends and family,especially me I'm so pleased to say.

And they talk to me about who they are.

So although there doing all that shit, they fundementally are sound young men.

I wish you the same for your daughter.

Because she has the advantage of you for a mother.

Snuffleupagus said...

Yes I think you need to do as you've said and hope as you've said and then shut your eyes and be ready for a bomb. And when she slips, you help her up again. Cause that's what growing up is all about - getting good advice, following some of it and ignoring some, and then learning from your own mistakes. God knows we've all made them. She needs to make some too. But with your advice, they are bound not to be so awful. She is lucky to have you.

jenny said...

I agree with Snuffy.. I had a mom that was very open with me and answered any question I had at that age. Mom might not have been sexually experienced but she tried to be understanding for me. One other thing she did for me was to say loudly as I was headed out the door with friends was, "Keep your pants on!" Thereby embarassing me thoroughly! I can't wait to do the same to my girls!!

Stay at home dad said...

Painful as it is I think you have to assume they'll do the same as you did. Albeit with a bit of useful advice under their bets.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Thanks all of you for your helpful comments. Pixie, it's not the sex itself that bothers me as much as the repercussions of the sex (pregnancy, disease) and the possibility of heartbreak because of sex with an immature asshole.

Snuffy, I know she'll make mistakes. I just hope their not my mistakes.

Jenny, I'm going to follow in your mother's footsteps, I think.

SAHD, yes, she just might do the same as me, but hopefully not.