By Marla Jo Fisher, The Orange County Register
My 12-year-old son asked me this morning, “Mama, did you ever play pong?”
My middle-aged brain immediately interpreted this to mean, did I ever play Pong, the first-generation arcade game by Atari, where a little ping-pong ball bounces back and forth endlessly on a black-and-white video field that looks like a tennis court.
I told him, “Oh, yes, I played that game! Back when I was in college, my friend’s dad owned some machines he rented to restaurants and clubs and he would set one up for us to play for free.”
Boy looked at me patiently. “No, I mean pong. Like, with beer.”
My first thought was, “How does a 12-year-old boy know about beer pong?”
Sheesh, I didn’t even know what Jello shooters were until age 38 when someone gave me one in New Orleans.
And then I recalled, when we watched “World’s Strictest Parents” recently, one of the rebellious kids was filmed secretly playing beer pong with her friends.
I imagine he also has other sources of information, as well.
My only hope is that those sources of information are not coming first-hand from his friends, at least not yet.
Nowadays, every time I let him out the door, or agree to let him down to the school three blocks away to skateboard with his friends, I worry he might be tempted to get into trouble.
Meaning, he might do the same stupid stuff I started doing at about his age.
I still vacillate between giving him more freedom and wanting to duct tape him to the front door, so he won’t have any opportunity to do anything he’ll regret. Or his mother will regret.
Right now, he still thinks he’s being wicked if he sneaks a forbidden Coke with caffeine. I recently caught him sneaking some of my morning coffee into his hot chocolate. Can the Hard Stuff be far behind?
In any event, I hastened to inform him that they had not yet invented beer pong back when I thought getting drunk and stupid was the most fun you could have on the planet, but I hoped he would have better sense.
He probably won’t, but I can only hope, right?
Marla Jo Fisher was a workaholic before she adopted two foster kids several years ago. Now she juggles work and single parenting, while being exhorted from everywhere to be thinner, smarter, sexier, healthier, more frugal, a better mom, better dressed and a tidier housekeeper. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read her blog at http://themomblog.freedomblogging.com/category/frumpy-middleaged-mom-ma rla-jo-fisher/.