Okay, so here’s the thing. I seem to have an in-built bullshit radar that is on high alert these days. Which means my poor men-children get away with very little. I have taken the suspicious parent to new levels, with good reason it would seem, as the history of this blog shows. But assuming my radar isn’t fool proof, they must be getting away with something, sometimes (just like their mother did in her day).
My learned and wise uncle once commented that sometimes it pays to turn a blind eye – and just not notice everything. In other words, cut them some slack and just let stuff slide. I have to admit I find that incredibly difficult to do.
Case in point over the Easter break. We seemed to spend the entire school holidays cajoling and encouraging the boys to get out of the house. Go to the movies, have a Pizza & Poker night, go bike-riding etc. Any alternative is better than sitting on the computer or play station all day every day, indoors, not expending any energy. Sure, I’m all for them having a rest, but teenage boys can take “resting” to a new level if you let them.
As the holidays drew to a close, even I was surprised to find Man-Child I sitting around at home on the second last day of the holidays, especially being one of the most glorious autumnal days Melbourne can muster. I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t making the most of his last days of freedom but he constantly evaded all my questions. Hmmm. Until of course he sat down at dinner and casually mentioned a small gathering at his best mates house that he’d like to attend that evening! Instantly explaining staying home all day in order to increase the chance of being allowed out at night.
So we asked for some information (the Spanish inquisition has nothing on me)! When was this arranged? It’s very last-minute. Are his parents home? Do they know about it? They just got back from holidays. What time will you be home? DON’T text us at 10.30 to ask to stay the night as you always do! How are you getting there and who with? My gut said whilst it’s all designed to feel like a casual, last-minute get together (nothing to worry about right), that wasn’t the case at all. And you know what – my gut was right.
So I casually offered to drive my son to his mates! Ah, really, but I was going to meet so and so….No probs. Happy to give him a lift too! (Gotcha). And he assured me he’d get a lift home with a friend. Really? Last time you said that I didn’t hear a car pull up. No parent would drop you up the road at midnight, they’d bring you to the door, which means you’re catching the tram home late at night, when I’d rather you didn’t (yes I know I sound like a paranoid mother, but I don’t trust the bogan element on the streets late at night – even in our leafy suburb I know boys who have had their front teeth knocked out in an unprovoked attack).
So do you know what happened? My husband wisely offered to give him a lift (sometimes Dads just need to step in). Turns out the reason he was meeting his friend on the way was to buy beers via some contact they have – I KNEW it. Then he gets to the mate’s place. Turns out the father of the mate didn’t really know about the party until it was too late to pull the pin – not impressed. I KNEW it. Oh and guess who rang Father of a Man-Child’s mobile at 10.30pm to ask if he could stay the night? I KNEW it.
So do I have an uncanny ability to detect when something is going down? Yes, it would appear so. Do I need to learn to let stuff slide, just a little bit, just occasionally? Yes, probably. Should I stop worrying and just see what happens? Gulp, don’t answer that – I’m just not sure I can ignore all my motherly/parental instincts just yet. They might look like men, but they’re only 15 years old!
As my friends with older kids say to me – God help you when they get their license and take the car out – then you’ll know what real worry is. So I better start up a new business before then – “Taxis for Teens” – fully funded by sponsors, free to kids and parents. E.g. they can have a free taxi trip if they go via the Maccas drive-in on the way. There, that should keep them off the roads for a while longer.