My son is almost 16 and he now has a girlfriend. Evidently it’s “official” as both have declared they’re “in a relationship” on their Facebook pages. Everyone in my family, my wife and younger son, says it’s none of my business. I can’t help it; I’m feeling left out and curious. Is this so wrong? I also want to be sure he’s handling “things” appropriately.
He has gone from being the quintessential guy’s guy, only hanging out with his male buddies, to having a posse of female friends, one “special” one now, and his male friends seem to have bit the dust, except for his band-mates.
I just returned from one of the best three-day trip of my parenting life. My son, Will, not yet 16, and two of his female friends and I drove to San Francisco to attend the Outside Lands Music Festival. It’s an all-day late-into-the-night, music festival on the Polo Fields at Golden Gate Park. There are multiple rock and roll acts performing simultaneously on several stages throughout the festival grounds.
The list of performers included such well-known acts as Incubus, Pearl Jam, Tom Jones (yes, that Tom Jones who has become a sort of icon to the younger set), The Black-Eyed Peas, and The Dave Matthews Band. On the more obscure side, especially to this ol’ middle-aged dude were acts I’d never heard of including Gooferman, Zap Mama, Kinky, Q-Tip, Albino, Dirty Rotten, TV on the Radio, Ween, Lenka, Cage the Elephant, and Heartless Bastards. Honestly, I didn’t make up any of these names.
I just attended the Outside Land Music Festival, in San Francisco, with my teen son and two of his female friends. It proved to be a rare opportunity to relive my youth, experience those feelings of excitement only a 15-year-old can feel, and vicariously share it all through their eyes and the excitement they radiated the entire time.
The line-up was extraordinary and included Incubus, Black-Eyed Peas, Pearl Jam, the Dave Matthews Band, and Tom Jones, the current retro star of this generation. And, the Welsh hipster didn’t disappoint as, at 69, he put on a show that rivaled any of the younger headliners. The crowd of kids knew every word of every one of his songs.
Do men really have good emotional support for emotional issues, on a regular basis? When a man reaches a certain age and he’s depressed, he’s struggling with his place in the world, he’s going through family problems or a divorce, or financial and job worries, etc., where can he turn? Add into the mix that he’s a single dad and has no immediate family around and you have my situation, a few years ago.
When my marriage first broke up, I was blessed to find a circle of men that supported and guided me through the horrible ups and downs that followed. No, it wasn’t some beer-drinking group of women-haters, nor a drumming in Indian war paint Robert Bly-type of thing. It was regular men, with regular problems, getting together and talking about the real stuff.