Her name is Julia.
It seems that we have entered the phase of life of being parents to teenagers. So much of it, I enjoy more than I ever dreamed. I always considered myself a baby lover and certainly one who adores the toddler years. As the kids approached 7, 8, 9...I felt like I lost a bit of that enjoyment. And I was petrified of the approaching onset of teen-hood. Teenagers were snarky, disrespectful, consumed-with-self creatures I really didn't think I would like.
But then I had a couple of my own. And despite some occasional snark, a smidgen of disrespect and being very much all-about-me, I found that they were actually quite delightful. Definitely lots more fun to take shopping (only applies to the girl) and much easier to understand than a toddler!
The one aspect of teenage-hood that I still look upon with some foreboding is the blossoming of hormones and the advent of the boy-girl exclusive relationship. Matt has "liked" girls before and had a traumatic, heart breaking two-week "relationship" with a young lady earlier this year, but Julia has now been a constant for a couple of months. First date, first major school dance (Homecoming, pictured above) and pretty much 24-7 texting, IMing, Facebooking or just a quick text to me saying he has not taken the bus home but is at Julia's.
While I delight that my sometimes awkward son has found such a wonderful friend and more, my very Mormon mother instincts shout BEWARE. Too much, too soon, too close before that all important mission I hope to send him on in less than three years.
I know of what I speak (type.) I always had a boyfriend. Middle school, high school, college. I started even earlier with the liking of boys (yikes!) and I know the dangers and pressures he will face, but that is a story for another day.
Julia is a sweetheart - I like her spunk and style very much, but I definitely have motherly reservations and concerns. They have followed the rules so far - no dating til 16, group dating only, group activities only. I just hope the lessons I have taught him are instilled deeply.