Sunday, February 17, 2008

You Know Your Kids Are Growing Up...

You know your kids are growing up when they want to spend a Friday night out with friends rather than hang home to watch TV, play games, etc. This happened this week for me with my twelve year old son. Sure, he's done Friday night sleepovers at a friend's house before (or at our house) or gone out on camp-outs with the scouts. But this week was a bit different.

It started Wednesday night at dinner. He and I were catching some pizza buffet, talking about his day, etc. My wife was travelling on business (on her way home). So, my son asks me out of the blue "what are we doing Friday night?". I say "nothing, why?". He says "a bunch of friends want to know if I can go to Skateland with them".

I think for a minute. He's never expressed interest in going skating in the past two plus years since we lived here. So I'm curious.

"Who's going?" I ask. He rattles off three other names. I listen and realize that with him, it would be two boys and two girls. My first thought is this a double-date? Of course, I call my wife on the cell phone to ask what she thinks. She says it's fine and if they need parental chaperones or whatever that we could go. So we tell him it's okay but he needs to get all the details (time to be there, time it ends, etc.).

Turns out the girls go to skate there a lot. One of the girls specifically asked him if he could go. I'm thinking oh, yeah, definitely a date-like thing. After all, I remember junior high school. You know what that was like. Kids really were too young to "date" but they hung out. Kind of like "date-training".

So, Friday rolls around. My wife is home but sick so she can't go at all. My son would prefer I just drop him off and then leave. Turns out one of the girls can't make it so it'll be just two boys and one girl. I start to wonder is my son now the third wheel? I drop him off and wait for the other kids to arrive so they can go inside. The girl is very concerned that the other boy is late. Heck, she called my son's cell phone while we were on our way (fifteen minutes before we had to be there) to see where he was.

I go to pick him up at 10:30pm. Turns out the other boy left around 9:45pm, so it was just my son and the one girl for the last forty five minutes. I hang out and wait for her parents to pick her up too, then we drive home. We're not even home yet and my son's cell phone rings. It's the girl wanting to chat for a few minutes more.

I predict a lot of young women calling our house over the next half dozen years.

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