Before puberty veered its ugly head, my son, John (13), loved to hang out with me. He and I enjoy doing things together and he enthusiastically participated in whatever I suggested we do. If I suggested we go to the library to research African beetles he would hop in the car and be ready to go. It didn’t matter what we did, as long as we were together. But sadly, those days are over – or least in that innocent, devoted sense. When I tell him that he has to participate in a family outing I get a rolling of the eyes, when I ask him if he wants to hang out on Saturday he tells me he’ll be with friends (and, according to John, I have no idea what it’s like to be a teenager). Even though we enjoy fun and unique experiences in Beijing and love trying out restaurants, being a mom, a woman, I’m finding it difficult to find things to do that my teenage son and I both appreciate. I don’t like playing video games, I’m not interested in watching sports, and we don’t have the same taste in movies. But one of the things John and I love to do is play tennis. When I ask him if he wants to play I get an enthusiastic “yes!” As a bonus, tennis is a great workout and after our game we buy cold drinks and ice cream and have a chat. I still may not have a clue about being a teenager, but at least we’re doing something together.
Broadwell Air Dome and Tennis Club
1 Chaoyang Gongyuan Nanlu, Chaoyang District (6595 8885, sports.broadwell.cn) 朝阳区朝阳公园南路1号
Tai Tai Tennis (In Shunyi: For women and moms)
Email email@example.com for registration information
For more tennis places, click here.