Friday, May 21, 2010

Welcome, My Child, But Proceed With Caution

It’s 11:30pm and my 14-year-old son and I are the only ones awake, though apart, staring into our separate screens. I log off and poke my head in his room to say goodnight, and he quickly x’s out of the webpage he was on. Hunchy shoulders. Shifty gaze. Reeking of guilt.

“Oy,” I think with the dread of facing the inevitable. “Here we go.” Furtive surfing. This can’t be good.

As I stand there with my head half in his explosion of a room and the rest of me safely in a far tidier space, I realize the website he careened away from looks familiar. Blink, blink. Very familiar.

Holy crap.

My teenage son was sneaking a peek blog.

I take a tiny step into his room, more like a shuffle to scoot my feet under the refuse coating his floor. “Hey buddy,” I say bewildered. This was not the discussion I thought we were about to have. “Were you just reading my blog?”

He looks suitably guilty and grumbles. “Yeah, I look at it sometimes. It’s actually pretty interesting.”

This is my son who is trying to hone the whole slouchy, grouchy, irony-seeking teenager act like Meryl Streep going after an Oscar. The guy who doesn’t seem to notice when I get home after being gone for three days. The kid I have to force to role play interest in my life. He’s an amazing kid, and I sincerely like him very much, but I honestly didn’t realize I merited a blip on his radar screen.

“Really? You read my blog?” I say, trying (and failing) to sound neutral. “Huh.” I scuttle back out of his pit with wonder.

He keeps his eyes on the screen and shrugs, “Whatever.”

Okay, dude. Game on. Read this blog if you want, but I should warn you that you might learn stuff here that you don’t want to know. Be careful because you might learn that your mother is a human being. You might find out that your mom is not only a mom. You may discover that your mom is a woman. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you.) You might actually laugh at something I write or come to understand my point of view or – horrors! – appreciate my place in your life. Look, I’m not saying you can’t read my blog (goodness knows I could use the readership,) but don’t say I didn’t warn you. You may be growing up, but I still need to say it: Proceed with caution, my son.

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