My daughter is away at college for the first time, and we’re stuck with our 13-year-old pain, I mean son. Okay, you’re caught up. Here’s more grist for the mill (I’ve got to start looking up these sayings to see what they mean). Anyway, I heard from my daughter the other day. I usually get a weird feeling in my stomach when I see it’s her calling, because it’s not usually to say things are going great or to tell me she loves me or to talk about the dopey Republican debates. It’s usually to ask for money or complain about a mean friend or unfair teacher. This time it was to to ask for money and complain about a friend. What a shock. But she did grace me with a story about how this one girl on her floor already had sex. You know what this means? That I no longer want to talk to my daugther while she’s at college. I am not ready to think about certain things. Sex is certainly one of them (now I sound like my wife). I don’t even like writing about this because it’s hard to stop the flood of bad images and thoughts that are trying to overtake my brain.
It’s funny how it wasn’t until after I took my daughter to college that I remembered all the sex, drugs, drinking, and more sex that took place when I went to college. Not for me unfortunately. Sex that is. Plenty of drinking (If my kids are reading this, I’m embellishing). And of course I realize that I and all my college mates were the same age as my daughter is now. Doesn’t matter. She can’t be having any of that. Or if she is, I can’t be hearing about any of it. So for the next four years I will be in constant denial mode. It won’t be easy. It will be particularly hard to explain to my wife why I’m always running out of the room whenever she says “I talked to our daughter today.” But I think I can do this. Thank god for work, where I will now be putting in even more hours than normal. It’s my best distraction.
Now obviously I can’t really not talk to my daughter for four years, although she once did that to me when she lived at home. I’ll talk to her. I just won’t listen. I’ll try to gauge her tone and match it with “Oh no” or “Really? Wow.” This is my plan. We’ll see how it goes.
Oh, and as far as my son goes, well I’m sure he’s into all kinds of crazy, bad stuff. But at least I can count on him not telling me about it.