Who Knew That Letting My Son Use The Men’s Room Would Be One Of The Bigger Decisions Of My Life.

5 Aug

Never in a million, trillion, gazillion years would I have ever, EVER thought that one of the biggest decisions of my life would be when and if I should let my son use the men’s room. Without me. Alone in there. With men. It never even occurred to me that this would BE an issue. OR raise mass amounts of anxiety in me when the time came. But, it was here and he was asking and he is turning 9 in two weeks and he is starting to really, really NOT want to go into the women’s room.

The first time I allowed him to, was with resistance. I hid it well from him, as I didn’t want to give him the gamut of dangers in my head and freak him out totally… It was at Target and I told him to go in first and come back and tell me if there was anyone else in there. He did and returned and said, there was one guy, who left as we stood outside the door, so I said, “okay. I’ll wait right here.” and then I couldn’t help myself… I continued, “No one helps you in there, no one looks at your privates in there, don’t talk to anyone… do your thing, wash your hands and come right back out, yes?” and he nodded and off he went. It seemed to take forever. It was quiet. Two dudes went in there after he did and sort of stared at me oddly as I stood near the mens’ room door, but I didn’t care, I shot them the look like, “my kid’s in there, if you fuck with him in any way, I will cut you.”

Then he emerged. AS fine as when he went in. And I felt sort of silly but proud and relieved and then I cried. Not like a weird 90’s sitcom cry, but I teared up knowing that this was just the beginning of things that I was going to have to let go of a little. I’ve trained him well. He’s a good kid. A smart kid. I felt like it was some scene in a Mission Impossible Movie:

Me: Whaddaya do if someone grabs you?
My son: Scream, kick, bite, fight, NEVER get into a car.
Me: Whaddaya do if someone touches your body?
My Son: Tell them no freaking way and tell you immediately.
Me: Whaddaya you do if they threaten you and say you’ll get in trouble?
My Son: I will never be in trouble if I tell you the truth, you will always be on my side. No matter what.
Me: What happens if we get separated in a crowded area?
My Son: I sit down and stay put, you will find me.
Me: Good. Good.
My Son: Am I ready?

Then the weird blue-lit montage fades away and real life is here and my son, my boy, my first true and real love is becoming a dude and this dude wants to pee with other dudes. And I have to not only trust him and myself … I now have to trust the world a little more.

And I’m scared. 

There are times… types of restrooms (i.e. road trips/gas stations) where I’m like, Sorry man, you’re staying with me and the ladies. And he rarely fights me on it. Rarely because he knows he will lose these battles with me. He sees it in my eyes now… he’s old enough to watch me, watching our surroundings… Someone stands too close, he notices now that I will put myself between them and my children. We cross a street, he notices now that I will walk on the outside, so the traffic is closest to me. He sees these things now. He’s starting to get it.

I don’t want him to distrust the world so fast. But I do want him aware, that not everyone is looking out for him. And whether or not he agrees with me and my decisions, HIS best interest is in my heart and he’s growing to trust that.

79 Responses to “Who Knew That Letting My Son Use The Men’s Room Would Be One Of The Bigger Decisions Of My Life.”

  1. rmedina49 September 1, 2013 at 3:47 am #

    you’re a good mom..
    i’m sure its a natural fear that all parents go through 🙂

  2. yacovan September 1, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    I understand how you feel about your son in public places. But have a little more confidence in your boy, once you teach him the dangers on public places, I am sure he will know what to do in case of

    • healingabc September 8, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

      Concern about public toilets is well placed. Personally I would encourage him to use the individual disabled toilet anywhere apart from the most well frequented and nicest places. When I was a boy they were safer, but in 2013 mens’ restrooms are not good places for nine year old boys on their own.

      • yacovan September 8, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

        I think that’s true

  3. chemobrainandmore September 1, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    My son is 13, now the big thing is going to the movies alone with friends…ever age there is another thing to worry about

  4. gubaaa September 1, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    Reblogged this on gubaaa.

  5. greatredwoman September 1, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

    You have given him good instructions on what to do. It can be a scary world out there. My mother only told me not to take candy from strangers. As I was walking home one day in first grade, a man hoeing his garden asked me if I’d like a piece of candy…which I took.. Then, I felt guilty because I’d taken it. My mom never explained to me WHY I shouldn’t take the candy..

    I know why today, though.

    We teach them how to be on their own and then we give them confidence that they can do it.

    It most likely will be all right.

  6. Simon Crowe in Asia September 2, 2013 at 12:03 am #

    I love your honesty! I’m yet to be a parent but I’ve heard lots of very strange unselfish feelings overtake you when you have kids…

  7. moodsnmoments September 2, 2013 at 6:33 am #

    your post is fantastic and I can so relate to it as I have a sister with a 6 year old and she is always concerned. It was almost as if she were talking to her son – it must be so difficult to hold the emotional side and yet make the kid believe the world is not as bad though we know that this is the biggest lie and THE biggest desire.
    congratulations on being freshly pressed and for expressing your concern so well. Thank you for sharing

  8. gnovember September 2, 2013 at 7:55 am #

    These are the exact same motions I go through with my 8 year old nephew when he has to go to the gents. “Don’t get help!” “Don’t let anyone touch you anywhere” “If you are not back in 5-10 minutes, I will come there and shout your name at the door and then come in personally!”

  9. Cel September 2, 2013 at 9:41 am #

    Very nice read… I believe most mothers have the same dilemma when it comes to letting their children grow. But there’s no other way but to let the children grow, and become a person of their own.

  10. mkesling63 September 2, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    I do not think there is anything funny about it. With socitey the way it is it is a very legitimate concern. A shame we are all forced to communicate that to our children in one way or another. SHame the law always forgot the top of the law, executions. The law failing and probagnadaing let 1 million crminlas go free to save one inocent. Well they did for evey one now power does not let 1 million criminals go free so this simply does not have to be anymore. The law is changing from the top and coming to all on the bottom soon. Those millions of criminals set free under the guise of we have to to save the innocent. Now all of our 14th amendmanet rightds have been ignored with billions set free worldwide, however the law is now catching up finally the new world power way.

  11. Shax September 2, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

    My son is very young right now, and he is very clingy. I can imagine the anxiety by the time he can use the men’s room by himself. I think my husband would be more anxious than me since he knows first hand how nasty it is, LOL.

  12. 1leftofcenter September 2, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

    You are raising him right. I had the same fears when my boys were not wanting to go in the ladies room any more. We can’t hold on to them forever. You’re doing it right. Don’t doubt yourself.

  13. mustlovebullies September 3, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

    Even though I comprehend the serious undertones of your piece, I totally LOL’ed!

  14. mommyinbonlee September 4, 2013 at 1:07 am #

    Oh my goodness, I am having anxiety right now just reading your description of this moment! Just today my 4-year old son wanted to stand outside the stall inside the ladies room instead of squeezing into the stall with me, and I made him stand with his feet right under the door so I could make sure he was there. 🙂
    I thought that I was crazy, but you have made me feel better. The world is a scary place, isn’t it?
    Sounds like you are doing a great job!

    • Nikki Rich September 4, 2013 at 11:57 am #

      yes I remember it well, those little feet sticking under the door and the ‘are you finished yet?’

  15. Nikki Rich September 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    We moved over the summer holidays and today is my 9 year olds first day in a new school. He was fine till we got within 5 minutes of school, then he threw up. I waited till I got home to sob. Im counting the minutes to go and meet him. I know he will be fine, but its another step onto him thinking he doesn’t need me so much and another step of me realising I need him but can’t tell him.
    I tell my children, not to be polite if they feel someone is being inappropriate, shout scream, kick, punch and bite, then let me do the apologising if necessary!

  16. hemingpath September 4, 2013 at 9:37 pm #

    and to think in 10 years he may be living on his own and all you get is a phone call once a week..

  17. Robin September 5, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

    oh my, you just gave me one more thing to worry about! My son will be 9 in November, and it’s one of those things you think about as you are going into the ladies room. Hmmm, when is it ok? But I haven’t gone there yet. But see it coming. Funny how a simple decision like this can make your eyes well up, mine did just reading your story…thank you!

  18. kjaylah September 8, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

    I’m sure you had little hurdles like this when he was younger, like sleeping around a friend’s house for the first time. going on the internet just for a children’s game perhaps? and other things but you managed them at the time!
    it’s all about trusting him, and trusting his reaction if a situation did ever arise, you seem to have him well taught, relax because there’s going to be bigger hurdles!

  19. dropsy September 11, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

    I have 4 children, 3 daughters and an 11 year-old son. Your boy is so lucky to have a mum like you. There are two main factors which determine whether someone is happy in life:
    1. If your mother loves you
    2. if your father loves you

    everything else is very much irrelevant

  20. chichikimz November 27, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    Reblogged this on chichikimz's Blog.


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