Sam and I have this great thing going. He waits for me at crosswalks when everyone else just goes. He helps me with groceries while everyone else pretends to be busy. In return, I label any girl giving him attention a hussy. If I could forewarn my future daughter-in-law right now, I would. “Back off honey. I will not allow you to make my sweet son’s life a living hell of nagging, questioning, and moodiness. Trust me I am a daughter-in-law myself. Yes. You will.”
Since I can’t do that, I would prefer to continue living under the illusion that my little boy is still little.
This week, his “biggness” stared me right in the face.
I avoid cleaning up Sam’s room at all costs. On any given day you may find shoes, books, his clean laundry and a missing football piled outside his shut door. When he is ready, HE can bring his stuff inside.
Digression: Simone is much more than a housekeeper to us. She is really a part of our family. Having been with us for 7 years, she has watched all the kids grow up. She does her own share of “protecting” them. For example, a few weeks ago, she found an empty family-size bag of Lay’s under Sam’s pillow. 1. He is not allowed to eat chips—they belong to his father. 2. He is not allowed to eat anything in his room. Simone laughed as she showed me and assured me that she had talked to him. She would not cover for him again.
This Monday, as I walked in the door Simone had that look like she was about to burst. “Mrs. Christine, I have to show you something in Sammy’s room.” By the twinkle in her eye, I knew it was not a half eaten cupcake, 2 liter bottle of Diet Coke or a dead mouse.
As I stepped gingerly into his adolescent boy cave, my heart pounded. All the usual suspects were in order: one dirty sock, a pair of boxers, a damp towel, an open book and a million random scraps of paper in various stages of completion.
“Homework,” I thought.
From the top bunk of his bed, Simone pulled down a decorative sham. He hates that pillow, it really serves no purpose.
Well, maybe one purpose.
From the cleverly designed pocket, Simone extracted several perfectly clipped, meticulously folded magazine photos….of girls.
I almost threw up. What? When did he start looking at girls?? Isn’t eleven way too young?? I thought I had a few more years. I was now hyperventilating as Simone burst into tears from laughing.
She tried to comfort me by telling me she has found many such pictures over the months but seemed to think they were random coincidences. This last stash made the reality undeniable.
My son was actively searching for pictures of attractive girls. Then, with more attention than he gives to his math homework, he was clipping them out and securing them in his secret spot.
I was paralyzed.
Simone took control. Despite her Portuguese accent, her authority was unquestionable. “You must not move these pictures Mrs. Christine. It is normal for a boy to like to look at pretty girls.” Then she decided to go all cultural on me.
“Besides,” she said. “See this one?” I looked down at the gorgeous long haired, olive toned beauty. “She is a famous Brazilian model! Your son has great taste in women!”