You know parents are the same
No matter time nor place
They don’t understand that us kids
Are going to make some mistakes
So to you, all the kids all across the land
There’s no need to argue
Parents just don’t understand
DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Parents Just Don’t Understand
We went out for our weekly family dinner Sunday. This has become something of a tradition in our house over the last year, as our son is now a teenager and so has less time for Mom and Dad than he once did. I mean, we still eat together most nights, and we watch our sci-fi shows together (usually at dinner time), but going out to eat gives us an opportunity to talk together as a family.
So tonight, we decided it was time to let the kid in on what has been happening in our lives. I was a bit nervous going into it. Planned out my opening line for several days: “You know we have some strange ideas about things… well, we have been exploring another one…”
I though it was pretty good and he responded to it exactly as expected (with a grin) – problem was, I hadn’t really clearly decided where to go from there. And I didn’t realize that until I was hip deep. So I floundered a bit, and then finally said “I have never been a big fan of monogamy…” Which was a word he did not know, and I’ll be damned I could not find a good way to define it, all of a sudden. Crap.
But I finally stopped stumbling, and my honey finally came up with some assistance for me and we explained what that was. And then I just spit it out: “So Dad has been seeing someone else, and I have an old friend I have been talking to in the same way…”
Somewhere in there a large grin split across his face again – which he then quickly tried to suppress. I never did find out what he was thinking in that moment, but I’ll revisit it all with him in a few days.
We went on to talk and assure him that there was no problem between his dad and I – so if he picks up on some of what is going on, he needn’t worry. And I told him that if he had any questions, now or later, that he should just ask – it’s no big deal. We told him we had no idea whether any of this was actually going to go anywhere – but if it did then he would meet these other people in our lives.
Overall, I think it went well. I figured he would probably be fine with it all. And I am confident that he was not distressed, even if he really did not give us any tangible feedback (he is thirteen, after all). But I really could’ve lived with not blushing through half the conversation.
What is that? 🙂
It’ll be interesting to see if I get some feedback from him over the next few weeks or months. But I do feel much better now that we will not be lying to him, anymore. Nor will we have to worry constantly over whether he might be overhearing some of our conversations and getting worried. Now I just need to cross my fingers that if he does start to get concerned that hopefully, he will say something.
(Originally Posted February 11, 2007)