I spent some good quality time shopping with my M-I-L yesterday. If by shopping, I mean freaking out over the fact Christmas is less than five weeks away and I have yet to really buy anything and I pretty much helped her pick out stuff for Brian. Good times.
I like when it's just me and her sometimes. I like hearing stories about Brian when he was young as told by his mother. He was a serious pain in the ass for awhile and she's still amazed he ended up being a respectable, productive member of society. I've heard his side before, but yesterday she told me about the time she had to actually call the police to step in and help get him under control. This is amazing to me, as I was one of those nerdy kids who never really got into trouble, besides the occasional missed curfew. The first time I skipped school was in my senior year and I got caught. My worst fear was disappointing my parents, so that tends to keep you in line for the most part, especially when guilt is your primary go-to emotion. The thought of my parents having to CALL THE POLICE over me is absolutely absurd.
I always listen closely when his mom tells me these stories so I can compare them to his version. I could've filled her in on some things but of course that would lead to heartache for everyone, and is completely unnecessary. She told me he'd gotten to the point of ignoring all rules and curfews (his side: their rules were ridiculous and his curfew was 10:00 at fifteen years old which was unacceptable). She said he'd stopped going to church and started trading the new clothes she bought him for clothes that looked like they came from Goodwill (his side: they went to church minimum three times a week and he felt once on Sunday morning was sufficent. Also you're damn right I stopped wearing collared shirts and store-brand jeans - I would've looked pretty stupid at the biker bar and concerts I started sneaking off to). It was also around this time he started growing his hair to its eventual length of halfway down his back and getting tattoos. There was a band in the 90's I loved called Every Mother's Nightmare. Brian could've been their mascot.
She's blissfully ignorant to a lot of her oldest son's activities and I'd never change that. When she told me she didn't understand why one summer he felt the need to take off on his bike in the middle of the night every night, I certainly wasn't going to tell her it was to go visit a girl he was seeing who was two years older than him who lived three miles away. Three miles, one way. Every night. Girlfriend must've had some mighty good...conversational skills. Brian concurs: "Yes, we used to talk ALL NIGHT." Funny guy.
No, I would never want to ruin what's become a really good mother/son relationship. I'm very comfortable in the role of Girl Who Finally Calmed Him Down, something they tell me all the time. His mom is pretty sure if he hadn't met me, he'd be some wild raging lunatic by now. I don't think so. By the time I met him at 23, he'd calmed down considerably or I would've been scared away. But I'm not going to tell her that. I don't mind playing a hero once in awhile. Especially when she's in the process of picking out Christmas presents.