How bad is it that I was the only mom at the fifth grade boys' maturation program? Are we talking about years of emotional damage, or will this blow over in like a month?
It just never even occurred to me that I wouldn't go with Holden. It's not that Mike was too busy. In fact, he stayed home with the kids so I could make it. And it's not that Mike isn't "there" for Holden and is squeamish about discussing such things as maturation (to be said in the voice of "Cajun Man.") It was just like one of us was going to go, so I went. Is this modern, forward-thinking, stereoptype-busting awesomeness? Or, just stupid weirdness? I wish I knew.
So I arrived on the dreaded day and I noticed that it was ALL DADS waiting outside the classroom for the boys' maturation program. I got a ton of funny looks, and people literally kept telling me I was in the wrong place and the girls' program was on the other side of the school in the library.
"Oh, no," I said, "I'm here for my son." Then they would raise their eyebrows at me. Maybe they thought I was a tragic single mother doing my best to support my fatherless boy. Maybe they thought Holden's dad was a deadbeat who doesn't care about these things. I kept wanting to make excuses, like "oh, his dad is all tied up at work" but I stopped myself because it was a lie and because why should it be weird that I was there?
So, anyways, I was embarrassed for nothing because, literally, all they talked about was taking showers every day and how to deal with foot odor. They showed a video that made quick mention of hormones and hair growth, and said many times how these changes are preparing the boys for marriage and fatherhood (which, for some reason, bugged me. I am not anti-marriage or fatherhood by any means, but hello, agenda. Nice to have you pushed right into my face....)
Showers and foot odor: that was IT. The major thing you EXPECT them to talk about --you know--was never mentioned. Afterwards the doctor who did the presentation told me he was asked not to talk about the major thing. He was told to keep it conservative. Hello? Then what did we come here for? Are the parents who complain about "explicit" maturation programs the same parents who are too embarrassed to talk about this stuff at home, too? I am all about parents being the number one source of information, but I also think that it would be nice for a doctor to tell these boys that certain things are normal and what to expect and how to deal with things in a setting like this one. Because some parents aren't going to want to have these discussions, and boys need the right kind of guidance.
So, I guess I'm a sex-ed advocate now.
Then afterwards the vice principal put his arm around me and said "well, I hope you weren't too uncomfortable in there" like, sort of in a patronizing way. And I wish I hadn't but I just played along and said "oh....it wasn't too bad" sort of sheepishly. I wish I had said something like "um, I think I can handle a discussion of foot odor." It bugged. Holden totally seems fine that I was there, by the way. I just hope this doesn't come back to haunt him or me in the future.
Tonight is the Mother-Son date at the school. I guess it's okay for me to take him to that. And, yes, I am calling it "MotherBoy."