I should have known I was in trouble when, at 11 years old, Charlie told me there was no way he could be a priest. "Why?" I asked. "Mom, do you really expect me to live without a woman for the rest of my life?!"
Fast forward four years and we are -- well, he is (Mike & I are just occasionally intervening observers) -- in the girlfriend zone. Charlie loves to be in LUV. Sometimes the speed at which he barrels into a relationship scares me a little bit. I don't mean in the physical sense. We've had plenty of conversations about "S," as Robbie calls it, but Charlie is emotionally all in when it comes to teenage romance.
So far, his taste in girls has been very good. Both nice Catholic girls. Both good students. His first girlfriend was super sweet and had a dad who is a police officer. I told Charlie he was either going to have to marry her or wait for her to break up with him, neither of which happened. We were all fairly traumatized by that break-up. Robbie still talks about Girl #1 and how much he liked her.
Now there is Girl #2. They met at church -- yay God! -- and go to different high schools. It seems like Charlie enjoys being "free" during the day at school. The extent of the "dating" has been a couple of PG-13 movies, a Butler basketball game with her parents, hanging out at her house, and lots of text messages. His current girlfriend has got him playing marathon games of Hanging with Friends, so that makes me happy. The fact that she makes him want to go to church, if only to see her, is also a good thing.
Charlie and Girl #2 have been dating for somewhere around two months and Christmas is just around the corner. So what did my lover-of-girls want to give his sweetheart? Well, he started thinking about a giant teddy bear. Sweet, though a little cliche. I suggested a photo of the two of them in a frame. It's inexpensive, personal, and she can re-use the frame for a picture of her and her next boyfriend. You know, just in case.
He wasn't on board with that idea. Then he said that Girl #2 loves the TV show "The Office" (score another point for Girl #2), so he thought maybe he would give her the ENTIRE SERIES on DVD. In addition to being young and infatuated, Charlie is also a bit delusional about how much things cost. Did I mention he doesn't have a job and will be working off the cost of this gift in dishwashing and laundry?
Needless to say, I sent him back to the drawing board, where he and Girl #2 came up with what they determined to be the PERFECT gift for each other. Anyone care to guess? I'll give you a hint...it's cheesy, but as Annie declared "it's so cheesy it's sweet."
As the kids today say, "I can't even..."
Just thinking about it and how excited Charlie was (for me) to buy this gift for Girl #2 makes me smile. Do you want to see the sweatshirts? Of course you do!
Girl #2 is a beauty. But Charlie a beast? Only if you are talking about his ferocity on the soccer field, or more likely his table manners.
Truthfully, the sweatshirts make so much sense for how Charlie views the world, romance included. He wants to belong...to someone or something. He's a person who needs people and I love that about him, even if that means he probably won't be a priest.