I passed! I passed the tricky "taking your tween to a movie" test. For the last two to three weeks, Elise has been telling us daily about big plans that a group of her friends had to go see Divergent this past Friday night. "Everyone" was going to be there. This was a BIG deal. (Side note: The whole event was organized through Instagram which I find fascinating.) I made the classic dorky mom move by saying, "Oh! I want to see Divergent too. Can I go if I don't sit with you and don't talk to you?" I got a "NO! NO WAY, MOM! Absolutely not." response. I said, "I'll walk in separately from you. Nobody will even know I'm there. I promise not to talk to you." Again, I got, "Mommmm. <major eye rolls> You'll EMBARRASS me!" OK. I get it. I was twelve once. I told her I wouldn't go. Then, Friday rolled around. She said, "Um, Mom... S's mom won't let her go unless an adult is there. Can you go?" What? After all the grief she gave me, she now WANTS me to go? I'm not too proud though. I didn't turn down the offer.
We arrived at the movie theater. We bought tickets, and I told her, "I'll be sitting at those tables whenever you are done." Then, she was gone. She speed walked away from me and caught up with friends at the snack counter. She never gave me a second glance. I kept my promise of not talking to her and pretending I didn't know her. I got in line for popcorn, and she went on her way. When I turned toward the theaters, there were two theaters directly across from each other showing Divergent at the same time. I looked at my ticket stub and headed into the appropriate one. I didn't see a gaggle of sixth graders in my theater, so I correctly guessed they were in the other one. I'm sure Elise was thrilled that she didn't have to worry about somebody recognizing my profile in the dark theater.
When the movie was over, I waited patiently at the tables. I waited. I waited. I waited some more. I could see groups of kids socializing out in front of the theater. I didn't dare go out there and risk being spotted though. I just hoped she remembered where I said I would be. Eventually, she came running in, and said, "Mom! Can you come out and take a picture of us?"
This is when I knew I officially passed the test. I had remained invisible enough that she was willing to out me to her friends for a photo. She trusted that I would not be a complete embarrassment, so she brought me out of hiding.
After the picture, I said, "Do you want me to just wait in the car until you are done?" A big smile crept across her face, and she said, "Yeah. That would be great!"
I can remember being twelve. I remember that moms were a necessary evil. You couldn't drive, so they had to take you everywhere, but you didn't want anyone to actually know that. Moms were to be invisible chauffeurs only.
Navigating the waters of parenting a middle schooler is new territory for us, but I think I pulled off this particular test pretty well. Although, now that I think about it, blogging about it after the fact probably counteracts any progress I had made in the "not being an embarrassing mom" department. Oh well. Maybe I'll figure out how to do this whole parenting a tween thing by the time Addie hits middle school.