So it's all beginning to start. That moment when you realise your daughter is noticing boys - well a boy in particular. I guess there is never a right time for a parent to feel comfortable about this because, deep down you know that with, these feelings come the highest echelons of elation followed by the crashing numbness of rejection. Who the hell wants that for their kids?
Well as usual I have fast-forwarded too many years, as is my want. Said daughter is only about to hit double figures, and said boy is a great kid with great parents. But...I wasn't ready. We weren't ready. I'd always said that I would be a proactive parent. Give information so the 3G would be prepared and ready to understand and make their own decisions when the time came about all sorts of growing up type things. But I wasn't ready. I am metaphorically slamming my head against the patio door. Repeatedly.
Okay mountains and molehills, I know. It's not like they're in a car motoring up to Gretna Green. But the feelings of panic that arose in me when a prom invite had the power to almost break a friendship; created playground and email gossip; instigated 'serious' parent to child discussions - complete with smile and calm voice plus the coerced suggestion of 'you can talk to me about anything, anytime'. When deep down all I wanted to do was grab her by the shoulders and shout 'NOT YET, YOU'RE TOO YOUNG. SLOW DOWN.'
When all I really want to do is press pause on her childhood and tell her I'm not ready.