This past weekend, I was the water mom for my son’s lacrosse team. As I sat on the bench refilling water bottles, I listened as the 13-year-old boys were dissecting each play and how much game time each player was getting on the field. They were completely focused on the game — until a group of girls they knew came up behind them.
Because the bench was pushed back against a fence, the girls came up in a cluster and began flirting with the boys, urging them to come see their game. The entire bench of boys turned around to look at and talk to the flirty girls.
I found it amusing. The coach did not. “Girls, leave! You’re distracting my players,” he shouted.
My youngest son has noticed girls practically since birth. When he was only about three years old, I had to tell him to look older girls in the eye and not their chests. My older son really didn’t show an interest in girls until he was about 13. For him, that was the age when girls became less of an annoyance and more of a species that smells good and laughs at his jokes.
On the few forays I’ve had into relationship conversation with my older son, I’ve violated every basic rule of parental control, starting with “don’t give love advise to a teenager” and “keep the mood light.”
Some mothers will tell me their maturing son shows no interest in girls and wonder at what age that will change. They ask me if they should bring it up. I’m sure each kid is different, but when it happens, moms usually figure it out. All of a sudden, your son is putting on the Axe, brushing his hair and staring when an attractive girl walks by.
Frankly, I‘d like my 13-year-old son to stay young, focused on the game and facing forward on the bench for many more years. But reality has hit and there’s no going back. He notices girls and so do most of his friends and teammates.
What age do you remember taking an interest in the opposite sex? Was there any love advice your parent gave you that you plan to pass on?