Well, okay, it wasn't really a think tank. A couple of the women have thoughtfully arranged get togethers for our sons--who sojourned from preschool through elementary school together--since they scattered to different schools beginning in seventh grade. The boys get a chance to see each other and the moms get to freak out at how much the other boys are changing. Some of them are six feet tall! Six feet! Yowsa! What began as a mini-reunion became a support group meeting for us moms.
Today was my first time to join the other moms as the boys feasted at the Rainforest Cafe' and then played video games. I'm not sure what the other get togethers were like but within moments of the moms being sat at a table adjacent to our sons, the comparing and contrasting began. Most of the mom research had to do with how our new freshmen were coping at high school. This one had a bad progress report; another one was doing better than expected. Involvement in sports and other extracurricular activities was discussed. How to get your kid focused on being more responsible was a problem for which any of us might have paid good money to obtain a solution. Each of us had heard a line similar to the following one from our sons: "Well, the teacher didn't remind me to turn it in." Each of us uttered a similar line to our sons: "It isn't his/her job to remind you to turn in your work. It is his/her job to teach you. You are responsible for knowing when to turn your work in."
Eventually, the conversation drifted from our concerns that they finish high school with the work habits and grades to help them get into college to what we are all assuming hasn't occurred with our children yet. Yeah... sex and substance abuse. It gives me the shivers just thinking about it. Near where we live there is a popular street with a movie theater and several restaurants, shops, etc. It never fails that I see hordes--massive hordes--of teenagers hanging out there on a weekend night. Girls sitting on boys laps, heads together or holding hands as they walk down the street. Oh sure, it all seems innocent enough; however, I can tell you that I get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I think about my son in one of these packs of kids and his arm around some... some... girl!
So, we were ultimately grateful for a problem like a bad progress report and, I think, uneasy about what we may not know about their lives. I think we all felt a sense of relief that we are experiencing the same issues and feelings. A day that was planned to keep our boys connected ended up drawing us closer together.