Well, I have been on birth control for the past week. My next check will be on March 24th. So I must wait. So, while I’m on this birth control, I find it very appropriate to talk about my teenage boys. Ahhh, the living “birth control” that my peers (some also parents) seem to laugh about. Everyone seems to cringe when you talk about this stage of parenting. And I do a lot of cringing!
Having teenage boys is like having 2 toddlers, attention-wise. My 2 teenage boys have very different styles:
- The older one loves dub-step, keeps his room clean, loves to longboard (skateboards that are longer than the norm), and plays a guitar.
- The younger brother loves hip hop, has a disastrous room, loves to play sports, and wants to be a deejay.
Just because they are different in styles & personality does not mean the challenges lie with one more than the other. If it’s not their grades, it’s social networking, ever-increasing hormones, bullies, or peer pressure. The list goes on. We’ve had talks – about EVERYTHING. More than once …a week, every week. Always, always… my attention stays on them.
And having lived on my own as a single mom for several years, I developed a little bit of a mean-streak. I call it “wearing my emotions on my sleeve”, my family calls it “public outbursts”.
I’m not a big (muscular) person. I’m rather petite. My voice is a little mousy. When I’m upset, I don’t think my tone or facial expression could even intimidate a puppy. But I’m smart, and I’ll out-talk anyone who messes with me or my children (and sometimes my husband, but I have learned to let him be in charge in those situations). Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t happen often and it takes a lot to trigger that Crazy-Mother-Alarm.
Lately, I’m learning that I have to be more mindful of my public outbursts in front of my boys. This weekend was a particularly new challenge. My younger son was invited to a party last night and he was pretty excited about it. He bought himself a new shirt to wear. He was texting his friend who was going to meet him there. Listening to hype-music as he was getting ready.
Any decent parent can relate when I say I NEVER let my kids go to anyone’s house if I have not met their parents. So, we GPS’d the address and both walked up to the house so he can join the celebration. Lo & behold, we were greeted by a make-shift security guard who demanded $3. I asked, “who are you?” He replied, “Security.” Mind you, this kid must have been about 16 or 17 years old. (Reminder: we’re at a house in the suburbs) He proceeded to argue with my son about the $3, when I finally said, “you do realize his mom is standing right here, don’t you?” Then he straightened up and said, “yes, ma’am.” I was very appreciative.
The other *air-quotes* Security Guard went in to retrieve the Party Host so I could ask if his parents were home. The Host came out, passed me, and hugged the girls who were patiently standing behind me. (They must have known about the ‘cover charge’ as they stood behind us like it was a line at the club). The Host looked like he was drunk or high – kind of stumbling as he talked with the young ladies. The Guard reminded the Party Host that I was there, he straightened up and said, “hello ma’am”. I asked if his parents were there and he replied that no adults were there. Here’s the kicker: I asked, “where are your parents?” He replied, “on their honeymoon.” I suggest, “so, that’s why you are charging $3 for your party?” He smiles and proudly says, “yes.” I looked at his droopy eyes, then noticed the solo cups on the table behind the Guards……
I did all but yank my son from this young boy’s parents’ front yard and throw my son in the car. After all, he’s twice as big as me. I said, “let’s go” and he got in and closed his eyes. I am sure he was embarrassed. I was embarrassed for him. Why? Because as a mom, sometimes you get a 2-second window to decide if you’re going to be “Crazy-Mom” or “Sane-Level-Headed-Mom”. For some reason, the latter never shows up to the party. Not this one, at least.
On the way home, I told my son what could happen if the cops came and there were no adults there. I told him he can be as mad at me as he wanted. He said he wasn’t mad. He had permission to tell his friends that I was just being crazy. He said it wasn’t necessary. I asked him if he was OK. He said he was fine. He said the friend he was going to go with ended up not going either. Why?? Cause his mom didn’t trust the Host. Somehow, that made my son and me feel better.
One party missed: that’s all it was. He went to one the night before and has another to go to next week.
We ended the evening on a Redbox Movie Marathon complete with Steak N Shake burgers and milkshakes.
It’s all worth it, folks. I wouldn’t trade these teenagers for the world.