I'd like to say here and now that I have no shame in aspiring to be the 'Cool Mum.' The reason I'm okay with it is that my definition of the term is not what you might expect. I don't let G stay up until midnight, scarfing bowls of mega-sour warheads and playing enough Call of Duty to give himself survivor syndrome, nor am I happy to lovingly scruff his hair and write off his ever increasing mouthiness as 'Growing Pains.' The area in which my Hippie tendencies really come into play is love; or at least the teenage facsimile thereof. Unlike most so-called 'liberal' mums, I am fully prepared not to like my son's first girlfriend. She will be cute, funny, smart, a bit geeky and probably cheeky. Just as I'm about to chuck the damn PS3 out the window following my fourteenth request for him to turn it off, she will tear him away from it with one phone call. After I've laboriously downloaded all the pod casts of his favourite You Tubers as a reward for studying well, she'll be the one he'll want to watch them with. And when more than a decade of affirmation and congratulation has never quite been enough to convince him that he's deserving of his place in the world, she will convince him he's cool by holding his hand. What will my response be to this little usurper coming in and taking my role as the chief influence in his life? First, let's consider what my mother's response would have been in the same situation.
My mother spent my formative years convincing me that boys were evil, and only out for 'one thing,' and that I and my raging hormones wouldn't want to get involved with them, lest it should ruin my life. Conversations like these really resonated with me; I was already convinced I was the ugliest girl in school, so when I had my first kiss at thirteen, with a boy I didn't even like, my immediate feeling was confusion. Now that I'd let him get to first base, he wanted to go further, and I almost let him. If someone wanted me, Horror Head, who was I to say no? Especially given the enormous kick in the gut it would be to my mother, who I understood, even at that age, had her own reasons for 'protecting' me from boys. Fortunately, I didn't give this one what he was after, and he went on to seduce another girl my age, but my mother's advice about boys was still ringing in my ears throughout my adolescence, stopping me from giving even the nice ones the time of day. The only guy I ever dated that she did like was Aaron, my first boyfriend, who you will no doubt remember from one of my early posts, 'What I left on the ocean floor,' and I strongly suspect that the reason she thought so much of him was that she knew he wouldn't be a problem for long. My mum is a wonderful lady. She is strong, loyal, loving and completely devoted; but her reluctance to want to share me with anyone as a teen was one of the things that lead to the choices I made later on. I was a smart kid; I had even proven it by fending off the clumsy advances of a nineteen year old at a time when most girls my age were too afraid to say no. Had I entered into society with an open mind, as well as some constructive parental advice, I would have made the right choices eventually. As it was, I dove into bad long term relationships in my twenties with the zeal of a prize fighter, both as a means of escape and to prove her wrong.
Yes, when my son introduces me to his first girlfriend, I'm sure I won't like her.
I'll love her.