Tuesday, October 08, 2013

My next career

I think we can all agree that I have a lot of talents. Some of those are even things I do with my clothes on! I've confirmed, however, that I have one more, which many of your will likely agree is of great value...mother-daughter mediator.

I have quite a bit of practice around this, largely because Munchkin's friends and their mothers often rely on my to broker peace around things like appropriate clothing, acceptable activities and reasonable dating rules.

As mentioned, The Boy and I took the girls to New Hampshire last weekend with five of his friends, their wives and their children. I also mentioned that it was 12 adults, 11 children and one teenager, which is a key part of this story...

The Boy's friend is married to a girl named Susie (no, that's not her real name.) I like Susie a lot, even if some of the other friends find her to be a little overly serious and kind of dour. She's very smart, but she can definitely be a little bit of a buzzkill. Not really the point of the story...

Susie is 37, and she has a 17 year old daughter from a previous relationship. I'll call her Alice. Alice has a serious boyfriend of several months now, and on Friday, she informed her mother that she wanted to go on the pill. When I talked to Susie about this on Saturday, she was legitimately freaking out about this...not entirely sure whether she wanted to lock her in a convent, applaud her maturity and send her to the doctor, or throttle her. She is smart enough (and...um...personally aware enough) to know that she would be a fool NOT to get her the birth control once she asked, but since she doesn't have any other friend with teenage "daughters", she was spilling this on me in case I had any thoughts on how to navigate.

Now...there were a couple of things I kept to myself. Like, Susie is assuming that Alice is considering having sex and planning for it. I would say it is more likely that she already started, but would rather be on the pill than have to keep buying condoms;-). But I didn't think that needed to be verbalized:-D.

I started to tell her to first take a deep breath and relax, because this could be sooooo much worse (like, "Mom, I need you to buy me a pregnancy test..."). Then, in a wonderful bit of timing, Alice happened to walk out of the house onto the patio that we had been sitting on. And in a rare bit of levity, Susie playfully told her "Come on out, we were just talking about your sex life." Which was incredibly awkward for a second, and caused Alice to turn an immediate shade of bright red. But then actually led to a sort of reasonable discussion:-).

My basic take on this is..."Do what you think is right. Do what you are comfortable with because it is what you want to do. Make your own decisions knowing that you have to live with the consequences. And remember, your first time will always be your first time. It is not gonna be magical and romantic like a movie...just try to make sure that, when you look back on this 15 years later, your remember it and the person involved fondly."

Then I talked to Munchkin yesterday, and she told me that she had gotten an email from Alice (who she is friendly with) saying "Your sister is magic. Somehow I had a conversation with my mother about sex and it didn't make me want to jump off a bridge."  I also got a note directly from Susie thanking me and telling me how much better she feels about the whole thing, and about her daughter's decision making process and her own ability to talk to her about it.

So, I felt pretty good about myself. And there you have it...the foundation of my next career: mother-daughter mediator!!!

(Of course, when she forgets to take her pill and ends up pregnant at 19, I am gonna hide!)

No comments: