All say that it is difficult to have adolescents. I don’t know if it is a fact that most people experienced it true or just that us parents are not prepared to deal with different kids of our new world.
I am lucky that my son stayed in China with his dad till he finished high school, which meant that I really had no clue what had happened during that time. As I know, his dad had a very hard time during the last 6 months before my son’s University Entrance Examinations and 2 months after that.
His dad is a very handsome, very well educated capable man with parents as university professors. He is reasonable and stricter than me in kids matters. My son is a handsome boy and has been always nice since very young. He was a very kind small kid at the age of 5 crying for a whole day when we flushed a little mouse down the toilette. What could be wrong with a couple of dad and son like that?
6 months before the Univ.Entrance Examinations, my son’s dad wrote me a letter with red and b0ld characters telling me in a furious anger that my son was going out with one of his classmate girls. Of course, dad was strongly against this behavior, especially at the critical moment of having this Once-A-Life-Time examinations that would decide his future in China. He is a dragon and so is his son. He bought his son into this very best high school by paying extra money hoping that his son would do better among those best students of the whole province. You can imagine where his anger came from about his son doing such an improper business at such a wrong time.
Receiving the news, I asked myself what I could do this far away from them. My first reaction was nothing else but a pretty happy feeling, for my son, because I still remember the first time when I fell in love in high school. Falling in love with someone for the first time in our life is such a wonderful feeling that it feels like the whole body is boosted by a magical drink and it is full of endless energy. It feels like being waken up feeling that I truly exist or come back to life! For my son, it would be especially true among those lessons of boredom, lectures around dinning table only about the importance of studies, and daily routines of spending 1.5 hours on bus to and from school, 8 hours at school sitting and memorizing those seemingly important knowledge, and another 3-4 hours at home reviewing those lessons, everyday, every week including weekends for 3 years…I was happy for my son that he started to grow up and feel love, but quite worried, not about how he would deal with it, but about how he would deal with his dad in his strong opposition! He would most probably spend more time and energy dealing with his dad than dealing with the simple relationship that he was enjoying…I believe that life was finding him some wonderful things so that he could continue his studies…
Not to my surprise, his dad tried everything to stop this “improper” business! What we usually do if we want to stop a person from liking or loving another is to tell him what he should and should not do. Well, to tell a boy of 17 years old not to like a girl is not really likely to happen! Our words are further from his heart than his heart from himself, no? Of course it didn’t work at all. His dad became desperate. He didn’t think of other options or even asked me of my opinions before going around at the back digging out all the unpleasant issues and affairs of the girl for the past 3 years. Yes, he did find unpleasant matters to prove to his son that this girl he was going out with was not a good girl. To the contrary of his dad’s wish, my son just went even further away: he went to stay with the girl right after the Entrance Examinations!!! His dad drove at midnight to the condo where the girl and my son were staying, trying to get his son back home. Failed to do so, he threatened to his son not to come back home if my son was not going back with him that night. As a result, he left without his son and he had not seen his son for many days. In order to push harder later, he told his son that he would not pay his trip to Canada if he was not coming back home soon. Well, threatening was not working neither! My son was turning to me and the girl for help and the girl’s family would help as well.
What could I do to help his dad with his frustration besides telling him to relax and not to worry too much? Now he and his son had run into dead corners. Usually, it is easier to talk to adults, but this time, I find it much easier to talk to the adolescent, my son. I couldn’t do nothing for the dad, yet I could truly do something for my son, whose body far away from me, yet whose heart linked with mine every minute of my life! What I could tell my son was not to stop the relationship because I knew it was not possible, but to enjoy what he was experiencing and to use the happy feeling and the energy generated from this relationship in their studies and to care for and help each other.
My attitude and ways were accused by the dad who said I was not supporting him and also said that all his son’s wrong doings including not studying very hard was all because I put into his mind that he was going to Canada! I wonder how I could have such a power over his son while being 10 thousand kms away and dad couldn’t control his son from his wrong doings who was just one step away from him!
It was not the dad’s accusation that had put me to my son’s side, it is truly my concern for my son’s spirit in this particular situation. He was doing something that he was not supposed to do, yet as a 17 years old, he needed guidance in keeping a healthy and positive attitude towards love when it happens and in helping him wisely use his limited energy at that particular time rather than distracting him to a matter that he should put less energy for. Trying to stop such a feeling is not practical, digging out dirt to prove that his son was wrong was certainly unwise and chasing to the girl’s apartment to show the father’s power was indeed stupid.
I cared about the girl as well, because she must have felt awful hearing all her past sad things dug up by the respectful father of my son. According to my son, they tried a few times wishing to talk to the father but it was completely out of the question that he would care to talk with them, especially with her. They were only 17 and they were not clear and strong enough to handle their business without feeling guilty and bad, because no one, no parents, no schools would agree with what they were doing.
They turned to me, the mother, for help, who was far away from them and who might be a bit different than people around them. Under such circumstances, their spirits were my priorities, not his dad’s righteousness and the tradition. I assured them that to fall in love was a wonderful thing and they were already 17 and they should follow their hearts, but wisely arrange their life and time and set up higher goals for themselves to pursue. I believe that they are not stupid kids and if I guide them into the healthy way of dealing with their love affair and put their energy together, that would be a great help in their studies! But the problem was that I had to show them how to deal with their oppositions: my son’s dad and the schools. The dad gave me quite a lot of pressure with all those accusations and he asked me to call my son’s Teacher in Charge. I laughed about his accusations and refused to talk to my son’s teacher. What could I say to the teacher? To agree with her, to say my son was wrong? To force my son to stop his feeling? I did what I believed effective, healthy and therefore right things. I talked to my son and the girl. I assured them that not all our parents and schools were ready for problems in life, not all our parents were qualified to guide our children and we all should learn. I respected their feeling and asked them to respect the school’s present rules. As of the father, I asked my son to reconcile with him and to my glad surprise, my son did eventually.
Concerning my son’s love affair, I was not worried. I learned in my life that we should follow life and let life lead us. Let time tell us the truth and let life live its own course. The dad was worried that the girl was using my son to come together with him to Canada, well, I was neither worried about that. If she could use my son and come to Canada with him, that meant she was an intelligent and capable person. My son was a lovely handsome young man, who wouldn’t love him? I believed her feeling and I supported her. She was one of our children who needed help and guidance. She was not someone who should be blamed and thrown away. She is worth being loved no matter what she did in the past and she will be a person who will have a future as anybody else whom the parents and teachers think behave well. She wanted to come to Canada and if is possible, then come.
A bit more than one year after my son was in Canada, they finished their first love relationship, simply they are not old enough to make such a big decision and not loving each other enough to overcome all the difficulties to come together. Well, isn’t it normal? Young people of 17-19 years old, do they have the clear vision of their future and the guts to do truly bold things? I doubt it and it is normal. And there is a question of finance as well for the girl.
I asked my son after if this love affair had influenced him in a bad way, he said no. He told me that it helped his studies and true, he did better (or at least normal) in his final big examinations than the estimations! I could see that this event hasn’t left any negative impact on him neither, which I feel very happy and proud for him and for me myself.
Life is beautiful if we give the true colours back to life instead of smearing around painting our own small pictures! Life is wonderful if we kindle the light in the eyes of our children instead of muffling it out. Live our lives and let our children live their lives. We can enjoy watching, helping and coaching, they can enjoy breathing, living and loving!