My children are 8 and almost 10. I write all the stinking time about how their growing up is effecting me emotionally. Like here. And here. And here. Much as I cry and whine about the little-boy-days gone by, I have come to terms with one aspect of it: the fact that they are at a hang-outable age. They’re old enough where I don’t have to chase after them or entertain them. We can just hang together and watch mutually-agreed-upon TV shows or something like that.
So, this weekend, my husband was away. I decided that since we had no scheduled activities on Saturday, the kids and I would do something super fun together (i.e go to the movies, rent a movie, go out for lunch, etc…). Yes, I had my Saturday planned. Only thing is, they were not on board with my plan.
WHAT? But what could be better than hanging out with me? I’m awesome, right? [... crickets ...]
Here’s how it went:
Me: “Hey 9yo, how about we do something today, like go to the movies or something?”
9yo: “I want to hang out with my friends today.”
Me: “Oh, okay. I get it.” … sigh… “But I’m a little sad that you don’t want to hang out with me that much anymore.”
9yo: “I’m sad too, but what can I say mom, I have a lot of friends and a busy schedule.”
8yo: Nods in agreement.
How can I argue with that? They want to play with their friends instead of their mommy; their friends are young and fun and I’m old and boring. It’s sort of a no-brainer.
By 10:00, both boys were out the door—at this friend’s house or that friend’s house. At one point, all the neighborhood boys even converged in my back yard for a friendly game of Woman-hunt (what they call the daytime version of Manhunt, despite the fact that it involves not one member of the female gender), followed by some football.
Much as I want them to WANT to be with me, I’d feel a lot worse if they didn’t have any friends to play with or if they only wanted to be with their mom all the time. They want to spend their Saturdays playing with all the neighborhood boys. Good for them. When I was their age, I wanted the same thing; I wanted to play with all the neighborhood boys. Just kidding … I was all about the girls at that age (and clearly, I still am).
Truth be told, it makes me happy to see the boys running around with their friends all day long. That’s what boys are supposed to do. It’s better than having to peel them away from the TV or XBox. They are lucky enough to live an a neighborhood jam packed with boys their age.
Where did that leave me? Quite content, actually. I made a fire, planted myself on the couch and enjoyed an entire day of HGTV. I didn’t take a shower; I didn’t do laundry; I didn’t clean the house; I didn’t cook or do dishes. I just vegged. I took advantage of the fact that my husband wasn’t monopolizing the TV with sports. It seemed like the logical thing to do, and boy did it feel good! So, thank you, boys, for better-dealing me and giving me an excuse to do a whole lot of nothing all… day… long!
Oh… and by the way, the last paragraph was my sad attempt at making myself feel better for being completely dissed by my kids. How was I? Convincing?