Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Tale of Two Kids

I actually have three, but two are boys and they are completely different. So much so, that I even decided to do a DNA test on one of them. I was convinced the father was actually one of my best friends.

After spending $26 on a home test kit that provided me with two Q-tips and an envelope, my (alleged) son and I swabbed our cheeks and sent in the specimens.

[BTW, this has been a running joke in our family since he was born. He looks completely different from me, and he's okay with this joke. In fact, sometimes he wishes he was someone else's son. My wife (who knows the truth) thinks we're both idiots.]

Long story short, a few weeks later and $140 more, we got the test results. [Yes, I spent that much money on the joke, but he did get to parlay this experience into extra credit in his biology class.] The results proved, without a doubt, that he is my son.  (I'm thinking about re-taking the test.)

Anyway, the point is my two sons are completely different, which is where I started. And what is more different is how my wife and I treat each son.

The oldest one (who was recently confirmed to be of the same DNA) is watched like a hawk to ensure that he stays on top of his school work. We're convinced if we don't do this, his B's will drop to C's and D's and he we will fail out, end up living with us forever and make our lives miserable.

His younger brother pulls straight A's, manages his high school curriculum on his own and quite deftly, and basically just shows us his stellar report card when the semester is over. While he appears to be the perfect child, he has also been in a serious relationship with a girl for almost 2 years. She's also a straight A student, athletic and everything you would think a parent would want.

There's just one problem - we don't even know her.

The girl is shy around us and whenever she does come to the house, she and my son just head down to the basement to watch TV - in the dark. My wife and I never leave the two of them alone in the house because their groping sessions may get out of hand. And it really bothers us that after all this time they've kept us at arms length around this relationship. We've spoken to our son about this and he says he's trying to work through the awkwardness of the situation. We also recognize you can't force these things or else you run into a Romeo and Juliet situation - and that one didn't end well. So we wait.

My other son has never had a girlfriend until just a few weeks ago. Prom is coming up and he and a girl from his class have decided to go together.  She's really cute, a cheerleader and maybe not the best academic student, but did I mention she was a cheerleader?

My son denies it is his girlfriend, even though we encourage him to say she is.  She has already been a more intimate part of our life. She came to a huge family and friends event we held recently where there were nearly 200 guests. She mingled well and was quite gracious to my wife and I (she even gave us a big hug at the end of the party). My other son didn't even invite his girlfriend.

This new girl has been to the house a few times in just the last couple of weeks, and even baked a cake in our kitchen for my son just for the heck of it. She says, "hi" and "bye" to us, and while we've only known her for several weeks, we love her and think she's a great asset for our son.

In fact, whenever she does come over, my wife suggests that the both of us should leave the house, and let them be alone. As my wife says, "Maybe he'll get lucky." And this is the kid we're afraid will end up on double-secret academic probation if he goes to college.

So we live in this predicament, a tale of two kids, wondering where we went wrong as parents, and hope our youngest child, a girl, never grows up, leaves us or dates any boys. Just another day in Hell.

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