Second guessing myself

I couldn’t stop giggling yesterday while walking home with Jeremy. He had a full can of iced tea and was talking animatedly about some show he was watching on YouTube. Every gesture sent another wave of soft drink flying onto the pavement. At home he’d have put the can down before gesturing wildly but that’s not really possible while walking outside. He insisted he got most of his drink, I was looking at those splashes and wasn’t sure about that.

We got home and I began making dinner while Jeremy moved onto the computer. He was playing something to do with Doctor Who, either a mod added to a current game or a mod of a Doctor Who game. It involved the TARDIS and the theme song, and some irritation from Jeremy because it wasn’t modded enough for him. I couldn’t find the jalapeno pepper and Jeremy, who’d put the groceries away, promptly informed me it was in the right hand crisper. He went in and pulled it out. Then showed me where the creamer was (on the bottom shelf). I was duly impressed. Usually he just shrugs and says “I dunno”. Even if he was the one who put them away moments earlier.

Jeremy leaned against the fridge as I diced the jalapeno pepper.

“Mom? If the TARDIS showed up, I’d jump into it right away. I’d let you on too but you’d need me to drive it. Then we’d go through time and space and I’d pick up all sorts of women.”

With that he walked back into the living room, leaving me watching him in confusion. I washed my hands and followed him out.

“So, does that mean you’re 100% interested in women?” I asked, trying to keep my voice light and amused instead of sounding like I was drilling him.

He shrugged then quietly said, “No”.

“Do you know who you’re interested in?”

Another “no”.

I crouched down, leaning my chin against the back of the chair, then rested one hand on his chest.

“I bet you do know,” I commented quietly. “Jeremy, don’t worry so much about gender. Love who’s in your heart.”

Then I wandered back into the kitchen and started a round of self-guessing myself. Am I being overly supportive to the point of being mushy, leaving him no real support at all? Or, even worse, could I be subconsciously pushing him?

I took a psychology class in college years ago and the teacher talked about a portion of the brain that contains thoughts the rest of your mind knows nothing about. That confused the heck out of me at the time. If the thoughts were entirely unknowable and undetectable then how would anyone know about them? It seemed as likely as claiming there’s an entire alien civilization on the dark side of the moon, the proof being we haven’t seen them and know nothing of them.

But if that teacher was right, could I be influencing him with thoughts I don’t even know I’m having? And why would I do that anyway? Unless… maybe it could be a way of making him less like his father. I don’t actually see a lot of his father in him but people who knew his father years ago, often comment on how much Jeremy looks like him. Then again, since I already don’t see much of his father in him, why would I try to influence him to be different? That thought circles back around to those unknown thoughts.

The thing is, I really can’t picture Jeremy in a serious relationship with a woman. He’s had two girlfriends so far and pretty much kept them at arm’s length. He wasn’t rude to them, he just didn’t seem all that interested in them. I didn’t see any difference in their relationships before and after they broke up. And I’ve seen Jeremy with his male friends. With them there was a lot more casual touching and Jeremy seemed a lot more involved and interested in them. Maybe that’s normal for boys, I grew up with sisters and have no real idea how boys act with their friends.

As it is, I’ll keep raising him as I already have and I’ll just keep hoping I’m not screwing up too much. Which, come to think of it, pretty much sums up all my parenting so far.

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