The Misadventures of Cheri

Mortifying my kids one swimsuit at a time

Courtship of course! (Or not)

on June 24, 2011

Things don’t always turn out the way I had planned.  In my mind, this was the scenario I had pictured for my kids when it came to dating/courtship:

Two years after college is finished, a career is established and the child is living independently, the child will come home and say, “Mom and Dad, I’ve met someone.”  We will be over the moon!!  You see, our children will have spent all their teen years, college years and early career years focused on God, the calling He has in their life and on serving others (aren’t my pretend children A-mazing??) and not on wasted years of dating.  If someone has caught their attention, well, they must be who God has intended for them.

This bit of news will be followed up with, “I’d like you to meet them, pray about it and see if this really is the one God has for me.  Your opinion is so important that I won’t even consider going forward without your earnest approval.”

My fantasy world is such a happy, simple place, isn’t it?  So imagine my surprise when about 1 1/2 years ago, my son started hanging out with a girl.  And texting said girl.  And always being around said girl when the opportunity arose.  This really wasn’t how it was supposed to happen.  They were both so stinking YOUNG.  (In my son’s defense, I think anything under the age of 28 is stinking young.)

In my son’s short life, he has been pursued pretty hard by some girls.  One girl got two angry texts from me (only to show up to a church event the very next day where I was in charge of registration.  Oh, God has a sense of humor!).  And just last week I watched my son skillfully avoid sitting by two girls in church only to have a third girl literally run to grab the empty seat next to him.  If you refer to my previous post, you’ll see why my son has been flying solo for the past 7 weeks.

But from the moment I met M, I knew she was different.  I actually knew her just a bit before she and Austin became a pair.  And I have to give my son credit . . . . he did pick a very nice girl to be his “special friend” (go ahead and take a minute and laugh at me for my terminology).  She is not one of those loud girls who have to be the center of attention.  And after getting to know her family, I know she’s not a girl lookin’ for love in all the wrong places because her dad is an inattentive dork.  Her parents and Tyler and I are on the same page about everything.  So, so far so good.

But wait a minute!  What about my perfectly laid courtship plan?  This thing with M wasn’t in the picture!  Not even close.  Here are a few things that helped me not freak out:

  • My husband.  He’s pretty much the morality police of the family.  After observing Austin’s attitudes, actions, etc., he really didn’t have any problem with what was going on.  He did have Austin listen to a Focus on the Family recording (I’ll be posting links at the end of this blog) and has talked to him about this relationship.
  • Once I realized what was going on, I started filling Austin’s life with a few books.  Again, I’ll list those at the end of the blog.
  • My dear, dear friend Sarah.  I was at the high point of my stress with this whole ordeal a few months ago. (My stress usually coincided with 0ne or fifty people not keeping their opinions to themselves about Austin and M.)  I was having a mini-freak out for Sarah’s viewing pleasure.  She has a son close to Austin’s age who was going through the same thing.  She said that as a mom who has two children in college and one at home, that it is such a blessing to be able to walk your children through the whole relationship thing while they’re at home.  That bit of advice is the best I’ve gotten about this whole thing.

After talking with Sarah, I went home and gushed to my husband about why I was so stressed out (ahem, people!) and how great Sarah’s advice was and how wonderful I felt and how everything was going to be alright and how life now had sunshine and daisies . . and . . and then he interrupted me.  He said, “Most of the people who have the biggest problem with this are the ones who behaved the worst during their dating years.”  I love my husband.

So while we’re walking a path with our son that I never planned on, I have to say that it hasn’t been so bad. Things seem to be going well and we haven’t noticed any major changes in attitude, behavior or grades over the last 1 1/2 years.  Granted, they only see each other at church or Friday school.  And the occasional visit to her house with her parents in the same room.  Apparently, I’m going to survive all of this!


Here are a few books I had Austin read.

Ten Stupid Things Men Do To Mess Up Their Lives.”  Dr. Laura Schlessinger

I Kissed Dating Goodbye” Josh Harris (Not the staunch anti-dating, pro-courtship book I thought it was.)

Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations”  Brett & Alex Harris (Josh’s younger brothers)

How Could You Do That?  The Abdication of Character, Courage and Conscience.” Dr. Laura Schlessinger

How To Know If You’re Really In Love” Dawson McAllister  The link is to the book, but Austin hasn’t read it.  There is actually a cd from Focus on the Family that you can order.  I just can’t find the link at the moment.  Dawson McAllister is hilarious!!  Tyler actually had me listen to this (in cassette form) when we were dating.  Austin has listened to it twice and it’s just a great resource to have on hand.  I will do some more checking when I have time and post a link to the cd’s.


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