Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Yesterday I had a comical first moment: I discovered, via Facebook, that my 13-year-old is "in a relationship." As an ex-middle schooler myself, I can't help but wince at the thought of announcing such a fluid thing as a 7th-grade-romance-with-an-out-of-town-6th-grader to my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and gossipy grown-up acquaintances. This is a relationship that seems best suited for the dim lights of an over-chaperoned dance in the school gym, perhaps combined with some note passing and giggles. But no. The boy is very pleased with himself and, by way of the comments function, has received encouraging congratulations from several Harmony girls, who sound as if they've been coaching him on the sly. Meanwhile, his older brother, who has made no such announcement, shakes his head derisively. But of course, derision is his job, no matter what technological permutations are involved. Even in the old days, my sister knew enough to answer the phone during dinner and say, loud enough for worried parents, awkward telephoning boy, and tooth-gnashing sibling to hear, "What do you want to talk to her for?"