Saturday, December 1, 2012

Reading Between the Lines: Conversation with My 14 Year Old

My conversation with my son yesterday morning went something like this:

Him: Can I go to Kareem's birthday party tomorrow?

Me: Sure. What time?

Him: 12 am.

Me: 12 am? At night? Or do you mean pm in the afternoon?

Him: I think the one in the day time.

Me: Okay. But we need to get him a gift.

Him: (Pause)

Him: Okay because we're going to shoot guns.

Me: What?

Him: For the party, they're taking us to shoot guns.

Me: What?

Him: (looking exasperated) What?

Me: No. No way you're going to shoot guns with Kareem. I don't even know his parents.

Me: (I'm lying. I did meet his mom once and briefly spoke with his dad when he came to pick up Kareem. Mom is Lithuanian I think and his father is Egyptian)

Him: Fine.

Me: You can ask your dad but my answer is no.

Him: (walks off)

Me (now upstairs talking to my husband): Did you hear that conversation?

Other Him: No. What?

Me: He wanted to go to a birthday party for Kareem where they are going to shoot guns.

Other Him: Who's Kareem?

Me: You know Kareem. He came over here one time with Knife Boy. (Knife Boy. That's another interesting story. Gave my son a knife as a birthday gift.)

Other Him: I don't remember Kareem.

Me: Yes you do. You thought he was a girl. (Kareem is an extremely handsome kid with long, dark hair)

Other Him: Oh him. You know I think I actually called him a girl. I can't remember.

Me: Perfect.

Sometimes I think I'm going crazy. Literally. I later explained to Will that I can appreciate that he wants to go, but there's no way I'm letting my only child go shoot a gun with somebody I barely know. And yet here I am up at 5:49 am still thinking about it.

1 comment:

  1. Starting when I was ten, I went to a summer camp in Fairfield County called Indian Walk. Imagine calling a camp that today. Our days were filled with canoeing, fishing and swimming, and both archery and riflery. We shot 22-caliber rifles at targets. The boys always giggled when the instructor gave permission to shoot by saying "Fire at will." How times have changed. If you mention shooting firearms today, people around here look at you funny, or worse.

    A couple years later in junior high in Westport, boys had wood shop and metal shop. We made real stuff like lamps, bird houses and carved whales. I even made a water bed frame. How 60s. No more. Today, boys bake with the girls in home ec.

    Let him go shooting, appropriately supervised of course. Chances are it's only paintball.