My oldest is now grown up. Technically. Physically. Legally. He turned 18 in May. He's a full grown adult. And he's easing into the adult world. He's driving. He's going to school. He's working three different jobs. He's pretty responsible and I'm pretty proud.
So, last week he mentioned that there was a wrestling event he wanted to go to. It was at Allstate Arena, a huge indoor venue about an hour from home. The buddies he invited to go were either working that night, broke or not into wrestling. Wrestling is just not my thing. In fact, I have never approved of the kids watching it. It wasn't until my oldest was a teenager that I allowed it to be viewed on our television. I was just against the whole concept. I don't like violence. I don't like seeing people hurt people intentionally. You should see how I squirm at watching football and hockey. And in those sports there is really another purpose, but the roughness is just something that goes along with it. When it comes to wrestling and boxing, where the entire goal is to hurt the opponent, I just can't take it. That's the mom in me I suppose. Throw in that there's a ton of drama, some questionable language and some scantily clad females and it's no wonder I have always been opposed to it. But then I saw movies with the Rock and John Cena and heard about so much charity work some of the WWE wrestlers do and concluded that they weren't all that bad after all. There could be worse things they could enjoy than watching wrestling.
I finally gave in and allowed it on the television in our house. Now it's become a bonding thing for my oldest and my youngest, who is only 7. On Monday nights and Friday nights, when WWE is televised live, they are joined together on the sofa, cuddling and snacking together. The other boys like to watch it, too, on occassion, but my 18-year-old and his youngest brother can always be found side by side when it's on TV. So, when my oldest didn't have anyone to accompany him to this WWE SmackDown event, he asked if he could take his little brother. My initial thought was "absolutely not." Who lets a 7-year-old go to an event like that? But, I quickly realized how much it would mean to the two of them to go together. My oldest offered to pay for his ticket and keep him close to his side throughout the night. My youngest begged to go. I gave in. I felt like I was being a terrible mom for letting him go (I should also add that it was on a school night, which makes it even worse.)
That evening while they were gone, I tuned in for a minute to see what was being shown. Bad idea. It was two females wrestling. I had this awful, "What have I done?" thought running through my head. They got home that night. Both had huge smiles on their faces. They had a great time. And they had a great time because they were together.
After the event, I conveyed to a friend (who happens to be a big WWE fan), that I thought I made a bad decision in letting them go, especially when I turned on the television to see two barely dressed women wrestling as the crowd cheered them on. She said just what I needed to hear, "That's not what he'll remember about going. He'll remember being with his big brother." I clearly won't be up for Mother of the Year, but I realized she was right. When he looks back years down the road, he won't remember what the women were wearing or who defeated who. He'll remember that he had a great big brother who took him along.