So, I’ve got these two teenage boys. I have to tell you, that I have loved being a mom. It has been the greatest joy in my life, my truest happiness. And, I thought, I was good at parenting them. But now they’ve grown up and entered a world that … well, I feel completely inadequate for.

I’ll be frank, I grew up with a completely skewed view of relationships. They were all or nothing. Either we were boyfriend/girlfriend and I love you, or there was no chemistry and therefore no relationship. Because all relationships were based on chemistry.

In our culture–either as an LDS family, or living in a mostly-Mormon town, or is it the States? The era? I’m not sure–dating is so relaxed. It’s about friendship and companionship. It’s clean and fun. There’s a lot of group dating and the kids move slow; “hanging out” for a while before they become a couple, holding hands only after feelings are pretty established, kissing maybe … I don’t know. I don’t think we’re there yet. (But then who knows … I’m the parent, right?)

Here’s my problem: I don’t know how to parent this. I find myself expecting my boys to be doing more, to be making choices like I made. To be attracted to a girl, to want to be close to her, to want to hold hands, kiss and maybe more.

I like the choices they’re making. I want them to take it slow, to learn how to be friends with a girl and develop a relationship. But I am constantly fighting with myself. I feel like everything I say on the topic, every time I ask a question about a girl in their lives, I’m pushing them to think of her, to hurry the relationship along. I feel like I never say the right thing. I just can’t relate to the goodness in my boys. When I was their age, I was not innocent.

I wish I had grown up innocent. I wish I could better understand the life my boys are living. I hope by now I’ve done a good enough job at being Mom that they’ll forgive me my flubs. I hope that my flubs don’t cause any trouble.

Because I’ve done a good job until now. I really hope it’s enough.

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