January 29, 2009

Ahead of the Game

I'm always surprised and annoyed by people who pressure their children to get married, or to reproduce. I know a few moms who do this; they're constantly asking their kids about love interests, and the minute the "b" or "g" word is used aloud, the pressure's on.

"Oh! This is getting serious! Why don't you invite him/her for dinner?"
"I'm sure Grandma would love to meet him."
"I wonder what your girlfriend will be doing for the holidays? Maybe we should invite her whole extended family over here for Thanksgiving."

Or, even worse, the pressure to pop out grandchildren.

"So are you two trying yet?"

"Boy, Carol next door is babysitting her third grandbaby today. Wonder if I'll ever get so lucky."

"You know, the longer you wait, the less time Dad and I will be around to help you out with the kids."
And so on.

But I'm not like that. My 25 year old daughter, for one, is like Super Career Girl, and only just recently discovered the joys of straight men, as opposed to Gay Best Friends. (Not that GBFs aren't the greatest thing since sliced bread for the ego; they just come packed with a bit of drama, which prevents other, perhaps healthier, relationships from forming.) I'm in no hurry to marry her off; she's far too independent for that. I'm sure there will be someone out there who she can't walk away from, but right now, it's all about work and getting settled in life. I have to commend and encourage that; I was working at Starbucks, living in a crackhouse apartment when I got married and had my first kid. That sure was a good plan.

And Matt, well, he's only 16. I ask about the girls, but he shrugs off the conversation as if it were far too personal a subject to discuss with one's mother. As if I had asked about his personal grooming habits. And then, sometimes, he'll launch into a story about someone he likes, or he'll go out of his way to introduce me to the latest girl; last summer he fell in love for the first time and shared more than he ever has. As soon as it ended, though (like a bomb going off in the backyard, by the way) he stopped talking to me. I wasn't privy to the whole emotional component of the break-up, which made me sad, but it is what it is. It's most likely he'll turn up married one day, having eloped to Costa Rica or something, saying his vows while hanging from a zip line. Or, there's always the Reverse Process of Grandparenting - you know, where the baby comes before the marriage. Or instead of the marriage. That's kind of a distinct possibility with this kid.

And as for Jack, well, of course he's only in 5th grade. Why would I even be thinking of pressuring him? I'm not. In fact, I don't even give much thought to whether or not he'll get married or give me grandkids; I know he will. I have his wife picked out already.

Actually, I have a couple picked out. I don't mean I want him to be a polygamist, I just want him to have choices. There's Janey, the girl next door. They've been friends since the day Jack was born, when Janey was just over a year old. To this day, they call each other "BFF" and, however in denial this may be on my part, still have sleepovers on occasion. They can spend hours on end together, doing boy things, or girl things, or gender- neutral things, it doesn't matter to them. Janey's mom and I have pictures of the two of them from day one until now; we (I) plan to make a great slideshow for the wedding.

They don't know they're getting married yet, of course. That would be crazy, to put that kind of expectation out there for them. Plus, there's this other girl that I've spotted at school. She's gorgeous - Hispanic, I think. She has jet black hair and deep brown eyes and a dazzling smile; she's also 110% personality and a little bit of trouble. I don't mind that, the trouble part, because I'm pretty sure she won't be the one. I'm just lining her up for the baby-making. Those kids would be stunning. Janey will be a good step mom anyway; she has me for a role model.

But I'm open, you know, to Jack's ideas. Like if he meets other girls in high school, which he might, if Janey lets him. I'm open to him dating and exploring other relationships, in an effort to find his true soul mate, as he grows into adulthood. I am so not going to be that mom who hovers over his love life, wanting to know every detail. I refuse to spend all of my quality time with him, as he gets older, worrying about whether or not he'll get married and have kids.

Which is why I've taken care of it all, already. It'll free me up for the more important stuff later, like wondering if he'll ever move out and into his own place - him, Janey and all the step kids.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I decided my last comment might be misinterpreted in the same vein as "I'd be much choosier if I had to do it again", so I thought I'd start over:

    So does that mean that you and Jack *aren't* going to be on Momma's Boy on NBC???

  3. Kim, do I really come off as that much of a control freak??

  4. Not at all, I loved this post!!!

    I'm the one who really wants little mocha skinned grandbabies and has no problem telling my kids that. Even if I have to hint/encourage/fill out applications for shows where I can pick their soulmates, whatever. All I can say is that one of them had better make it happen!

    How's *that* for controlling?

  5. Thanks, I feel better. Remind me to show you the ring I picked out for Janey.

  6. I love the picture. That must have been ages ago?...

  7. The picture was taken in my back yard in the summer of 2002 - Jack would have been 4, and Janey, 5.