It is official: Our teenage son has a girl-friend! After weeks of speculation, casual remarks about her, several visits to her house and late night text-messaging I finally – officially – met Mystery Girl!

Good Lord, our son has taste! (He probably got that from his father…) She is gorgeous! Everything about her is long: her overall size, her hair and her legs! If this isn’t enough, she seems to be very nice, polite, fun, well brought up and well mannered! It seems to be too good to be true, but pretty and nice can go hand in hand together.

Here I am, home alone with our teenage son and his girl-friend. They went up to his room – and from then onwards, silence! What are they doing? Actually, I leave this to your imagination and mine! I did what (hopefully) every mother would have done: I avoided the upstairs – in fear of being accused to spy on them! Instead of sorting through our laundry upstairs I decided to spent a delightful afternoon on YouTube, searching for the songs which would bring back vivid memories of my first kiss, slow dance and the other innocent, but still slightly naughty things I did when I was a teenager!

What was I worried about? A stolen kiss? Or that little bit more? I don’t really know!  Our teenager is fully aware of the story with the bee and the flower (i.e. reproduction). He spent his first ten years in the Dutch school system. A system were they don’t shy away from graphic illustrations when it comes to sex education and STD.  This country has the lowest pregnancy rate among teenagers in all of Europe! Need I say more?  Honestly, I am pretty sure our son knows more about any of the dating do and don’ts than I ever knew. So if it’s not the S.. I was worried about what was it?

From now on I am the mother of a teenager who has a girl-friend! This is a new step into unknown territory for me!   Am I the only one or do you agree when I say, as a parent you have constantly new territories to conquer? On the other hand, this new job-description is another opportunity to shine as an “extra-ordinary” mother (e.g. don’t spy on them).

Finally, after I relived all my first time adventures, the laundry couldn’t wait any longer.  Hesitantly I went upstairs only to realize the couple wasn’t around after all!  At that moment I figured I had to avoid our den. But, I am only human and a woman and my curiosity got the better of me. I went downstairs.

I was prepared for hot flushes and embarrassed looks! But all I could hear was rapid gun fire (good decoy) and laughter. Here they are, in front of our TV screen:  The gorgeous girl-friend was kicking my son’s ass on the Xbox!

So much for my vivid imagination! When I was a teenager we didn’t have electronic devices! We had to entertain ourselves with different objects of desire…

Plan Ahead & Seize the Moment

 I love having a plan or spending time on making one! And since I became a mother I also like to have plan B and C in case plan A falls through.

It is Monday morning. After some strategic planning, the day was all accounted for.  The plan kept me moving and talking from 8.45 in the morning till 3pm in the afternoon.

By 9am, 15 minutes into my first appointment I realized there was no plan anymore: My lady friends stood me up! One due to flu and the other one due to miss-understanding!

I could have gone home, feeling sorry for myself and finish vacuuming the basement – the  Hoover was still out.                                                                                                                                                                

Instead, I thought “Sod it” and set off on my own (the basement will still be dusty when I come back). I did what I planned for the morning:  a brisk walk through our wonderful nature. This was a wonderful opportunity to have some ‘me’ time while trailing through rocky, muddy and wet terrain.  Ignoring the bear warning signs, I set off into unchartered territory.

If I have nobody to talk to, my brain has vivid conversations with itself. Marching through the morning mist, inspired by the colours and beauty around me, I couldn’t help but thinking:” How many meanings are there for the word “Snicker doodle?” (E.g. Have you been snicker doodled before?)  How will I celebrate when my book “Very Berry Extra-Ordinary” will hit the No.1 spot at Amazon .com?  What is the best strategy to get onto the Oprah Show? (I should get her phone number and call!)  If somebody will hand me one Million Dollars, what is the first thing I would buy?”(Pay off the house first or rather go on a cruise- or better still pay off our parents homes and then go on a cruise?) Ok, this is not mind blowing, world changing stuff, but these issues needed to be addressed anyway.

What am I saying?

Plans are good – but be prepared to have them changed!

And more importantly, seize the moment!

Like the previous Friday when I decided to reinvent myself as the next master chef!  The day started off with no plan, and all of a sudden there was one! The rainy morning was a perfect excuse to hang out at the library and stock up on weekend reads, i.e. cookbooks.

The Cauliflower Gratin caught my eye and after following the instructions step by step, the dish looked exactly like the picture in the cookbook.

Or on Saturday when I was forced to change my Saturday afternoon plan for our teenage son.  It involved a 45 minute car ride to pick him up from his soccer match.  He inconvenienced me – again- because he forgot one of our family rules: communicate with your parents if you need their help!  But, this trip turned out to be a blessing. Forty-five minutes alone in the car with your son can be turned into bonding time if you ask the right questions and keep the radio on low.  In Holland our children were always on their bikes and went everywhere on their own (much shorter distances, bicycle paths and street lights everywhere). Here, they still need us to get from A to B.

If we always wait for somebody else to join us, or if we need constant reassurance from somebody else, or if we ask permission to does something then will never get things done!

We don’t need to wait till the 31th of December to reinvent ourselves or to change a habit or to start something new. Let’s do it right now. The right moment, the right time, the right circumstance doesn’t exist! The right time is now!

We all should do what we planned for today – even if it means we have to do it alone!

To me, this is what being Extra-Ordinary is all about!