Monday, March 30, 2009

The tighter you hold on to them...

The harder they will fight to get away...

Happy Monday! I wish I could say that I had a relaxing weekend...but I am absolutely exhausted! My husband and I had hoped that we would be able to get some rest after Shelby's birthday party weekend...but Caleb asked around the middle of last week if it would be OK if he had a "few" friends over on Saturday. They planned to video a movie they had been working on for..well as I understood of their classes. He assured me that this would take place outside in the yard and on the deck and that they would arrive at 1pm and leave around 4-5pm. .So I spent all of Friday afternoon cleaning the house real good so my husband and I could just watch movies, read or work on some projects.

Well first of all they all started showing up at 11am AND...the "few" friends turned into nine (HUNGRY) all between the ages of 16-17 years old. big deal we'll grill some hamburgers and fill an ice chest with soda's, bottled water and ice.

So I am in my room talking to my friend of the phone when Caleb comes in and says " Mom, could you please call "T's" mom...she is freaking out?!? I ask "why is she freaking out?" "Well, she is really protective and she wants to talk to you." I know who "T" is...but he has never been to our house before...and I have not met his mother problem.

I can hear a quiver in her voice as she explains that one of the other boys had brought her son to our house. So I asked ...did he not have permission to be over here...and she said she knew all about it but wanted to explain why she hadn't brought him over herself. In other words you don't know me...I don't know lets talk a little. At that point I was thinking how nice this was that his parent at least wanted to know where her child was and who he was with...perfectly understandable.

She asked if their would be drinking...and I assured her that there would no alcohol, no tobacco and no drugs. She didn't ask but I gave her directions to our home and invited her to come over and meet us...have a burger and visit if she wished. She told me that she is an "overprotective parent and "she trusts hime completly" said that her son is T is a good kid, well behaved and very respectful. Then proceeded to give me a list of instructions...I would need to "Have a talk with the boy who brought her son....and instruct them not to go riding I told her that I would just have her son call her before he left our home...she thanked me for being understanding and we hung up. I thought that was it.

She called him every hour to check on him and each time he had to put me on the phone. My guess was to prove to her that he was really still at our home and not riding around drinking and partying. Does it sound like she trusts him?

The whole " we'll do all of this outside" flew out the window...and due to all the rain we had last floor was full of mud...still I rolled with the flow. By 5 pm...they were finished shooting the movie and everyone was they began to leave. Caleb asked a few could spend the night...which I admit I was beginning to get a little irritated with him...but I said yes as long as it is OK with their parents.

Around 7:30 we decided to run to Home Depot (with our 15 year old daughter) to get brackets for a few hanging plants...and pick up pizza for the kids. Stephen (almost 19) was here...All were playing video games. When we returned one hour later...T met us at the door...actually he was pacing and pale...I was surprised when he took sort of a scolding tone with me and said "My mom called and YOU WEREN'T HOME"...Stephen said..."mom the woman is hysterical".

Stephen had tried to talk to her...but she accused him of being " some frat boy who was going to take her kids out to party" Then T started begging me to call his mom...and I finally said NO...I had already talked to this woman like 5 times...invited her to our home to meet us. T called his mom and I could tell she was just chewing him up one side and down the I agreed to speak with her...he was obviously relieved. She lit into me the minute I said hello and finally I just gave the phone over to my husband...and he told her "Lady I don't know who you are but you son is a great kids and he is very welcome here....but if you are that concerned about his well-being...then you need to come get him" Isn't it amazing how that solution had not once occure to her?

While we waited for his parents T explained that his mother herself had partied at his age...she was untrustworthy so therefore everyone had to prove to her that they are worthy of her trust. I feel so bad for the boy...who is indeed a good kid...but overwhelmed by stress. His mother said she was just concerned about his "safety and well-being" but instead he was incredibly embarrassed and felt humiliated.

I feel it is important as a parent to know your children...where they go and who they spend time with. As I have told my children many times..."you have my trust but if you betray that will be hard to earn it back." We also open our home to the childrens friends. We feel it is important to provide a safe environment where they can hang out and enjoy themselves. It seems there are so many parents out there who claim they care about the safety and wellbeing of their children but do not wish to open their own homes. They are quick to scold and point out every mistake without a thought of their emotional well-being. We must be there to guide them...not smother and crush their self esteem. How aweful it feels when someone doesn't trust you...especially when it is your parent. The tighter you hold on ..the harder they will fight to get away from you.

At what point does a parent go from being concerned about their child's safety and well-being to overprotective and smothering?


  1. Egads. That poor kid!

    I hope his mother learns to relax a little. Does she never go anywhere without the boy? Even to Home Depot?

    Jan from the Sushi Bar

  2. Good question...I bet she does. This is a scary world we live in and I am certain that all parents can relate to the fear that something bad might happen to our children. One of the hardest things for me was handing Stephen the car keys and allowing him to go off by himself. I am not worried about his driving...I am worried about all the other nuts on the road. Still...I had to let him go.
    Personally I think she may need some counceling or something...I don't think the issue is really about her child....I think it has more to do with her own past.
    I did things that I am not proud of in my youth too...But I know I can't punish them for my past. I also can't worry about feeling like a hypocrite by teaching the kids not to do as I did. I just try to be real honest with them. All we can do is teach them right from wrong and set a good example...and hope and pray they listened!

  3. Man...I feel sorry for 'T'...she is honestly going to push him into doing something incredibly stupid....