Well, Prom has come and gone. The kids involved had a fantastic time and the Moms involved shed a silent tear or two, wondering when those gorgeous, shiny-new, smiling adults had replaced our grubby, grinning toddlers.
I don't know if I've ever mentioned it on here, but one of my Super Powers is a little thing I like to call Mama Bear Override. When I raise up the Attribute (a cold, deadly fury aimed at anything threatening a cub) and assume this Aspect . . . well, let's just say that you don't want to be on the receiving end of it. There is no pity.
You all know how hard Jack worked to make this date perfect for Lovey, so you can imagine my feelings when I got the following text message from him 90 minutes before Stage 1: Dinner was scheduled: “Well, looks like the picnic's off. :(“
I was out of town cavorting with Joy, so after a few abortive attempts to get the story out of him via text I messaged, “Jack. Get me Lovey's Mom's phone number.”
Each of the kids has witnessed Mama Bear Override, so it is completely understandable that he answered hesitantly, “I would like there to be survivors.”
Ah, but I am no longer that young mother who once followed a man to his home, accosted him in his driveway and threatened to tear his arms off and beat him to death with them if he ever again passed a stopped car on the left in a school zone. (I'd do this one again, actually – he had just dropped off his own kid and then almost ran over my nephew, illegally zooming around us in the oncoming lane of the drop-off zone. Idiot. That was one re-educated man by the time I got through with him.)
No, this Mama Bear has been to her share of parenting rodeos and has the belt buckles - and the scars - to prove it. On the eve of Prom Night 2011 I was not thinking (a'la The Hulk), “Must. Kill. Whatever resulted in frowny emoticon.” I was thinking, “This sounds like a job for both mothers.”
See, I've learned the hard way that if you race into any situation armed only with your kid's version of events – you are going to eat a lot of crow.
This doesn't mean your kid's a liar (though it also doesn't mean he's not). It means that his is not the only perspective you have to consider before you go in swinging. He may not know what's behind the current kerfuffle, or he may have missed a pivotal moment that was crucial to understanding what was really going on. (That last one happens a lot during the teens.)
In this case, it turned out that Lovey (demonstrating empathy far beyond her years) had assumed that she would be needed at home to help with family visiting from out of state, and had tried to make things easier on her mom without consulting her first. Jack, with typical teenage male-ness, missed that Lovey was trying to please everyone and thought she was just canceling on him.
I already know Lovey's mom Brandi slightly because Lovey and Sassy have been buddies for years. It didn't take us long to put together what had happened, and we shared a rueful chuckle while we confirmed the kids' evening schedule at the Executive Level. As a bonus, Brandi got to realize anew what a thoughtful little sweetie-pie Lovey is, and I got to hear about what a gentleman Jack is when he's at Brandi's house. Win-win.
Of course, when I called Jack to report, I didn't tell him that Brandi and I had giggled together like we were seventeen ourselves. I simply said curtly, “Jack. Your original schedule? It's back on.” I was rewarded with an admiring, “Go, MOM.”
No use giving away all my secrets; not until he's a parent himself.
I hope Brandi and I won't have to arrange that for him.