Parenting Doesn’t Stop
I was inspired by an article that wanted to teach the writer’s children lessons of happiness. I don’t think she has teenagers.
I have an 18-year-old son who recently “moved out”. I am personally experiencing so many emotions that seem to be taking separate seats on a roller coaster ride that is traveling so fast, I can’t grasp it for even a second! I thought I’d pass a few things onto my son for his newest chapter in life. A few weeks back, I wrote this to my son thinking that was THE moment I had to commemorate.
“Tomorrow at 1:33 p.m. my son will be 18. A man. Although he’s been the light of my life from the moment he was born, this past year has proven extra special. I hope I have given him a sense of responsibility and humor. He has brought me a sense of patience, laughter, and resilience. Moving forward, I won’t be a teacher to him. Moving forward, I can only hope to support him however he sees fit. Moving forward, I hope for him. Moving forward, I pray I can laugh with him. If I had to give one last bit of advice…my dearest, bestest, and only son… listen. I’ve said it from day one, you’re magical. Just keep being magical!”
I was wrong. I think I was a in a really good mood that day. Or maybe I remembered to take my medication for a few days in a row just before typing that out. Either way, a few weeks have passed, my son and I argued, he chose to leave my “abode of condemned souls” to race to the arms of the “cool Aunt”.
I had simple rules. Stricter than some. Freer than others.
- Do your chores (dump garbage, clean up kitchen, keep your room clean and do your own laundry.)
- I need to know where you are, always!
- Go to school.
- Don’t be a jerk.
In the couple of weeks leading to my son’s choice to leave my lair of fire, some things came to the surface.
- He was hiding a pack of cigarettes in the carport gutter
- He came home with someone else’s prescription pills in a baggie
- A neighbor accused him of going into her home and taking valuable and sentimental items.
- The police came to my door regarding said thievery at an ungodly hour in the night a few days later.
- My son received his long-awaited purchase in the mail. He was so excited, he opened it up in front of me and it was an engagement ring! I didn’t even know he had a girlfriend! (Keep in mind 6 months earlier my son revealed to me in the grocery store checkout line that he had been sexually active… AND with multiple partners! Thanks to the Safeway staff for your understanding. I’m sorry to all the innocent bystanders in my line…)
To my surprise, the straw that broke the camel’s back was an orthodontics appointment! He had fought the whole way on the subject even though it was deemed a “necessity” by both medical and dental professionals. The things that came out of his mouth that day were shocking, disrespectful, and full blown rude!
Some people take what the members in my family have to say with a grain of salt; they understand them as people who have exaggerated views. Being IN this family of phenomenal story tellers, I have the advantage of knowing which parts to mute and which parts to really hear. Some may even suggest I chalk these borderline troubled teen antics as simply that, “teenagers”! If any one of these things had happened, I might agree. But it all happened in 4 days!
If I had to rewrite my commemorative vomit with this new info, it may look something like this:
“My kid is 18. A man. Although he’s been a lesson for me from the moment he was born, this past year has proven to be more like a labyrinth. I hope I have given a sense of responsibility and humor. He has brought me to the edge of my sanity proving straitjackets and medication are really my only friends! Moving forward, I won’t be a teacher to him. I’m kinda droppin’ the whole thought process of being able to bestow upon him any jewel of life-altering thought processes. Moving forward, I can only hope to EMOTIONALLY support him however he sees fit (NOT monetarily). Moving forward, I hope for him. Moving forward, I pray I can laugh with him. If I had to give one last bit of advice…my dearest, bestest, and only son…listen. For Jiminy Cricket’s sake, just LISTEN….ONE TIME, HEAR IT! I’ve said it from day one, you’re magical. And by magical, I mean very creative to the point of manipulative and a bit sycophantic! Be good to the universe, cuz she can be a cold harsh b**** if you ain’t!”
Thanks, Casey, for sharing your story with us!