We seem to have reached a stage were Caroline is going off more and more. She has less need for me (except for funding and transportation). We are getting along really well and enjoy each other's company, but she wants the company of her friends just as much or even more often. Her boyfriend has become a semi-permanent fixture in our house (so much so that he now feels comfortable enough to come into our house and head to the fridge first thing to find a soda).
Last weekend she was invited to a friend's Sweet Sixteen party. She asked her boyfriend to go with her. He told her that he wasn't able to do something on two Saturdays in a row (they are going to King's Dominion next Saturday). An hour before I was supposed to pick up her friends for the party, she texted him and told him that all of her friends were bringing their boyfriends. He responded "Oh, I should have asked my mom then." She bit her tongue, he asked his mom, and was ready to be picked up in an hour. I picked up Cristhian and teased him about waiting until the last minute. Then I went to pick up Caroline's best friend (and my scout daughter) and her boyfriend. After a brief photo session (I wasn't the only mom with a camera), we piled into the car. I am used to teenage girls and the silliness that accompanies them. My ears have adjusted to high pitched giggles and screams.
I am not used to teen aged boys. Truly my expertise in all things boy mostly ends at age 7. Suddenly, I was in a car full of after shave and rumbly voices. Both boys carried on parallel conversations. Caroline's boy friend kept turning around to talk to her about a band or tease her. Her friend's boyfriend waxed poetic on topics such as the importance of having two suppers a night, guns, life guarding, and his worst injury all summer. Both girls listened and nodded. This girl, tried very hard not to tease or laugh. At one point, I dug frantically through my purse searching for gum so I could do something with my mouth besides laugh.
We finally found the club where the party was being held. I wasn't sure which entrance they should go in, but they assured me they could figure it out. As I watched them walk away,I felt a pang of longing. I watched my oldest child move one step further towards adulthood. She looked so beautiful all dressed up. I watched as she grabbed her boyfriend's arm and pulled him along away from whatever distraction that had caught his eye. I watched her move that much closer to making her own path through life.