Friday, September 01, 2006

Dealing with ... stuff (update)

Warning: this another post about teenage sex. Except I actually think I can communicate my confused thoughts and feelings if I pretend it is not about teenagers at all.

Pretend your mother who has been divorced for a year or so was coming to live with you for a few months. She is going through what can only be described as a promiscuous stage of her development. You think that this is unseemly for a person her age and hope that she will grow out of it. On the other hand you don't think it is your place to tell her that she is behaving poorly. It really isn't any of your business.

But she is living with you. You have younger children in the house and she has agreed that having sexual partners in and out of the house while they are there would be confusing for them. She completely understands and assures you that she will not have sex in the house unless she has the house to herself.

Okay...you think, that was an awkward conversation, but I'm glad we had it. It's weird, but it is good.

Being a school teacher you have been home all summer, but finally you are going back to school. You casualy mention that you guess tomorrow you ought to spend some time in your office preparing for classes.

Your mom is pleased and an hour later is on the phone, pausing to find out if you are coming home for lunch. When are you going to leave in the morning? Are you sure? You will definitely be gone from 9:00am until 12:30pm? You say yes, because it is the truth, although even at the time you know why your mother is so pleased.

Mom is excited about her new sexual freedom. She also values honesty and though she does not want to tell you much about her partners and certianly does not want you to meet them, she feels a need to be perfectly honest about what she is planning on doing while you are in your office the next day.

Msybe you know that your mother was taught to hate herself and that in some ways you really do think it is healthy that she can talk about her sex life and stop feeling the shame that was instilled in her. You think that this experimental stage she is going through is normal In some moods you are really pleased that you have the sort of relationship with you mother in which you can talk about sex. In some ways it feels really healthy.

On the other hand, you realize that if you had forgot a book you really could not go home to get it. You also realize that you know nothing about who she is inviting over to your house. Is this the boyfriend from last spring who moved away and came back? Is this someone she met on-line and is meeting in person for the first time? Surely not that, you think, but maybe. Probably it is one of the people she was so very pleased to run into the day before when you were in The City. But you don't know. There could be an axe murderer in your house.

What do you do? Do you decide it was a bad idea to agree that it would be okay for her to have her boyfriend over when you are not in the house? Do you insist that she first has to introduce you to her boyfriends? Even though you don't think you can tell if they are axe murders by meeting them.

Of course, you think, life would be so much easier if she was like all the other mothers and just hid her sex life from her daughter.

And what if it were not your mother, but a young man two weeks shy of his 19th birthday?

And would you tell the social worker, who you know is going to be more freaked out than you are?

****
I have made some decisions, BTW. I am definitely going to talk to him about how well he knows the people he in inviting into the house. That much at least is clear.

1 comment:

  1. rossecorp7:41 PM

    This is a tough one. As I write this, my 17 y/o son is upstairs in his room with his girlfriend--door open, lights on. They're watching tv. But, I'm sure they're probably not only watching tv. Am I supposed to prevent them from having sex? At least yours won't be getting anyone pregnant...

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