Cleanliness is next to Godliness so they say, except when you are Goth going pagan.
The Battle of the Hygiene between a father and a son is won, and won without me raising a finger, but somhow this time, it feels like a defeat. Why do I not feel victorious in the Teenager/ Shower/ water/ soap equation that equals cleanliness. Fresh air has won for God's sake. But a nagging feeling, an in-glorious feeling wishes I had lost, at least for a while.
The victory was won on a foreign field, where a girl, who he ~ my handsome son ~ may or may not have liked, but probably did and probably won't admit it, especially now. These things I must guess.
She ~ the potential girlfriend ~ had stated the obvious and it was crueller than any de Ville requiring hair dye and crueller than any diatribe of filial hate I may have said, and that I would have regretted later. We, the parents, had known, we had forewarned that soap was a good thing, that shampoo was a nice thing, we had warned politely, with pleading, begging ending with multiple 'pleases'. We had warned impolitely with sarcasm, with shouts, with threats. We had known that a bit of water does help the hormone fuelled pheremones drive to start the next generation, starting with inter gender holding hands only please. He listened not to us, as we were condemned as parents, how could we defend such wrong-doing of being actual parents that care, we were by teenage definition - do-ers of most things wrong.
Sadly rejection by another teenager may have been motivational in shampoo-ing, the end result was the same - a teenager in touch with his daily shower gel. We had success, but I am sad, I am sympathetic at the cost. He now must face her at school, must face her friends, he must face his friends and his enemies. Ammunition to be cruel has already been targetted in teenage rivalry.
He must face them daily until the shame fades. We hope it fades.
My son is alone in knock down land and I am not the wanted helping hand to get him up, I am instead the face of being right.
My handsome shy son has to be strong on his own. Parents are at arm length, a distance that we cannot bear, especially now the air is fresh. Welcome to the real world is not good on occasion, life's rich tapestry misses a stitch, life lessons are necessary and unwelcome and as much as I know it is necessary, to see him forlorn is not so good. Teenager in teen anger at himself, at her, at me, with nowhere to go.
Sod it, sod the rules of puberty, sod the rules of typical teenage MTV world, time to offer the helping hand, the listening ear, the caring eye, time to talk the common ground of rugby - we will throw ball tonight.