December 15, 2009


Got three of 'em. Spent a long weekend with them while my husband was in Tampa for four days. One of them spent an afternoon and overnight at an 8 year old's birthday party. I can't tell you about the other one or I'd have to kill you*. But that one in the middle, the one who stays quiet and does as he should and makes my life easy, well...Well, here's Friday's timeline.

The middle school has a Christmas dance. Some dress up, some don't, some have dates, some don't. My previous experience with it five years ago - my son wore a suit, took a date, bought her flowers, the whole nine yards.

Couple weeks ago:
Are you going to the Christmas dance Luke?
Maybe. I dunno. If I do I'll just go alone.

Friday 3:20pm on my way to Target to buy a birthday present with Sean I called Luke who got out of school early (1:00) and went directly to a friend's house:
Do you want to go to Target with us?
Yeah, sure, pick me up.

He gets in the car:
I want to buy a shirt and tie for the dance tonight.
Wha??? I didn't know you were going!
Yeah, I am.
Wish you told me earlier Luke! When does it start?

As we enter Target at 3:30 we run into Chad and his mom. Mom asks:
Is Luke buying flowers for his date? I answer: Oh, no he's going by himself. Luke says nada.

In Target till 4:30 - Luke can't find anything that he likes much. He's right in between children's and mens sizes so it's hard. He finds a green plaid flannel shirt that he likes. He seems to be stuck on green. He finds dress jeans. He doesn't find shoes and the only shoes he owns are green converse. Dirty green converse. We leave. Driving home:
I needed to get a green shirt because I'm going with Julia and she's wearing green.

You heard right. He had a date for the Christmas dance in three hours. Actually they were meeting at a friend's house at 6:30. So in less than two hours he'll be standing in a glistening Christmassy room among glistening Christmassy children getting his picture taken by smiling adoring parents. He has a green plaid flannel shirt, jeans and a dirty pair of green Converse. BY CHANCE we got his hair cut this past week.

I don't know what I said. I was probably just glad I didn't rear-end the car in front of me. Oh, I did mention that wearing green converse, no matter how Christmasy one wanted to say they were, was NOT going to happen. I got home, packed up the little one who was to be picked up and taken for the evening, wrapped the present. Ironed Luke's new jeans (putting a very - I think - formal crease down each leg), tried to shrink his new shirt and rummaged through every box in my attic looking for a size 9 1/2 dress shoe. It seems Luke's older brother went from size 6 to size 11 1/2. I wondered for 1.7 seconds how Seth was shorter than Luke at this age but had feet two sizes bigger. Then I made Luke put on the 11 1/2s twice and tried this line: "They look great! They don't look big at all, really." Then he, looking down at the heavy square-toed shoes on his feet, mumbled something uncooperative like: But I can't really walk in them.

Then I realized that Seth's friends, 17, 19 and 20, kicking around a soccer ball out back are all shorter than my shoeless 12 year old so I burst out the back door. I've fed these kids umpteen pizzas, I've listened to their music pounding from my garage, I've, I've, I've - well, I can't tell you anything else or I'd have to kill you. Let's just say I felt it was within my rights after everything I've been through to march out there and bark: Size 9 1/2 boys dress shoes - Go get them - Now. They jumped into cars and soon we had four pairs to choose from. These boys all insisted that they had size 9 1/2s at home but they brought back sizes 8 thru 9. (Boys. Would girls not know their own shoe size ever?) Hey, they did their best for me, one pair did fit and that saved me a whirlwind trip to Famous Footwear ... and the possibility of uttering something about how they could be so silly to think that a size 8 shoe would fit a size 9 1/2 foot. [I've tried to work that phrase about size a few ways and I'm just going to leave it at that before I put my foot in my mouth.]

Next I grilled Luke on flowers since the mom at Target put that nightmare into my head. He had absolutely no idea what anyone was doing about flowers. How could he? He only decided the day before to say Yes to Julia after saying No to her weeks before. I thought about throwing a big dramatic fit, it was tempting, but I kept my mind on the prize: An evening alone without children happening in just a couple hours. (Well, there would be music wafting from the garage and maybe a pizza involved, but I could ignore it if they kept their distance.) I told him we'd run to the grocery store that has a nice flower shop and get her a couple roses. He stood there staring at all the different colors. He didn't want to give her the wrong impression - he likes Julia very much as a friend and didn't want to toy with her emotions.
Don't the colors mean something though?
Yea, get her one of each.

I drove him to the house where they were supposed to meet and there were tons of cars there, parents taking pictures. I couldn't get out of the van because I never properly dressed that morning since my morning routine was sent into a tailspin - see the * above. I wasn't even sure if a brush had graced my hair. So I just waited in my van for them to answer the door while he stood on the porch.....and then I noticed the long price tag hanging from the flowers waving in the wind and yelled out the passenger side window: LUKE! (He's nearly deaf, I believe) LUUUUKE! He turned around. TAKE OFF THE PRICE TAG! He shoved it into his back pocket. The mom came out on the porch and asked me to come in.

NO THANKS! I waved and smiled and screeched off. I believe two minutes later I was sitting on my bed channel-surfing, laptopping and sucking my thumb.

I can only hope that Julia's dress was something along the lines of a green plaid flannel, but I wasn't staying around to find out.


Mom said...

Mothering teenagers is such a wonderful adventure!

Paul Nichols said...

Channel surfing? You're probably still thinking about your previous post, huh?

Uh, are we still frenes? That's you WV du jour.

By the way, I like teen-aged boys. And girls. You're blessed.

rosemary said...

And I was whining about being in Vegas off the strip....I did have a kid that asked a girl to a formal dance and she was a lot taller than said son...he wanted taller shoes. Didn't happen.