I used to be the parent that he’d listen to. When he and his dad had problems, he’d come to me and we’d talk through it. He was respectful. Did what he was told. He was a good kid.
He still is a good kid, don’t get me wrong. But the thing is… well, he’s fourteen. And a half. He’s at that age where he’s really starting to get a sense of teenagerdom and everything that it entails, and boy, is he pushing limits.
Today was his last day of school. Students were released at 12:50, and I thought that – even though he’s going to be attending summer school – I’d take him out for a little end of year lunch. Nothing crazy, but just a cheap date to reflect on the year and talk about next year and what we were going to work on changing. So I got dressed and waited.
After an hour, I drove around the front and back of his school to see if he was hanging out with any of his friends. No Jake.
So I went back home and waited.
I got back in my car and cruised the neighborhood again. No Jake.
At 5:30 – yes, you read that right, FIVE FUCKING THIRTY – he comes sauntering in the house like nothing is wrong, and looks at me like I’ve sprouted two heads when I proceed to wig the fuck out on him. “I was just in the band room at school, mom. It was [insert friend name here]‘s last day. We just wanted to hang out for a while.”
“Well, you’ll be in your room for the rest of the night. You will not come out without permission.”
“Can I get a drink of wa-”
I’m more calm now than I was then, and have been sitting here really trying to dissect why I’m so mad. I mean, obviously I’m mad at the lack of respect and concern shown on his end to oh, you know, let me know he wasn’t dead. But more than that, really, my feelings are just hurt. This kid who used to make me lego creatures and wrote me poems for Mother’s Day has now got this total air of ISN’T MOM A FUCKING NUTJOB – which, by the way, is exactly what makes me act like a fucking nutjob. He used to care what I thought, and how I was feeling, and it just seems like he doesn’t anymore.
It makes me think back to when I was his age. I remember thinking that I was a freshman, and all this magical responsibility and power and sweet, sweet FREEDOM came along with that title. I remember being absolutely indignant over curfews and my mother having to know everything all the time, and not being able to date or take the bus to the mall. I remember feeling like I was so sheltered and it was so, so unfair.
I know this is probably exactly what Jake is feeling. And I know, like I did, he’ll grow out of it. He’ll get older, and he’ll get more of the freedoms he thinks he deserves. And one day, he’ll have his own kid who does the same thing to him.
I know all of this, but it doesn’t make it easier to live through.
What does make it easier is knowing when all was said and done, my mom wound up being my best friend. I’m looking forward to that day with my kids.
xo – Heather.