Good Enough Mother Confession:
I’m Ready To Let My Teen Go..
Before I dive into this I need to post a disclaimer:
- This post will be raw and honest.
- It may not be the most coherent because of the 4 glasses of wine I consumed before crying myself to sleep last night.
- I am writing this with permission of the teen that this is about.
MY HEART IS BREAKING.
He either abides by the rules of our house or he leaves.
There is no gray area. It is that black and white. It is that simple.
We’ve had issues, as the parents of most teens typically do. We saw therapists, made threats and adhered to punishment when he did not follow through.
I feel like I have aged two decades in the past two years.
Our wonderfully made, headstrong son, wants to do things that we are adamantly opposed to. He asked us about them because using teen logic (which only makes sense to teens), he wants to be open with us and that, in his mind, should count for something.
In exchange for us to agreeing to these things he wants to do, he also expects to sleep in our house, eat our food, wear the clothes we bought, drive our car and text friends on the phone we pay for.
Cole and me sharing McDonald’s.
Sometimes it’s the simple things.
The truth is, until he is an adult, there is only so much we can do. We certainly don’t want to hobble his future, which is why we hadn’t resorted to Draconian measures.
That all changes when he becomes an adult in a scant couple of weeks.
I’ve gone through all the emotion, even blaming myself and my Good Enough Mother mantra.
“Maybe if I had been here more. Maybe if I had ridden herd more. Maybe if we hadn’t experienced the job upheaval that we have the past several years.”
At the end of the day, it is Cole’s life. I cannot and I will not, follow him around, warning him about making bad choices; I’ve spent 18 years doing that, now it’s time for him to grow. And go. Unless he can stomach the rules.
They are not that difficult and we are reasonable people.
Abide by a curfew. Abide by the law. Respect the people who pay the bills.
If he feels it is too much, Buff and I have explained we will wish him well as he steps out on the path he feels he must take.
And when I say step, I mean that.
“His car”? Well that is technically ours. And it stays in our driveway.
“His phone” Yep. Ours too. And I’m more than happy to remove one more line from our family data plan.
His college tuition? Find a way to pay for it.
Cole says we are punishing him. Nope. We are allowing him to be an adult. Choices have consequences.
I love my boy. Buff does too. But we have been here before, to no avail. Now the decisions he wants to make, the choices he feels are right for him, we are going to allow him to, even if they break our hearts.
As the parents of an African American young man, we pray for his safety and hope he doesn’t pop off to the wrong person. I pray for the return of the child I once had an easy relationship with; the one who would slip his hand into mine and felt the need to protect instead of challenge me at every turn.
There’s one more thing I must say, if I am being truthful.
I hate the stress this has caused our family. I hate that my daughter, who didn’t ask for any of this, gets wounded by flying shrapnel.
I’m pissed because Buff and I gave our all. Our lives, over the past decade of entrepreneurship, have have been harder than we anticipated and I wish Cole could see past the teenage myopia, appreciate what we’ve been doing and at least TRY to make it a bit easier.
My silent prayer is that someday Cole realizes all of this and doesn’t beat himself up too badly. He’s a teenager; in some respects they cannot help themselves.
Raising kids is not for the faint of heart. I did what I could. We did our best. But now we are at the end. If these are the decisions my son feels he must make, I will let him, no matter how much they hurt.
Through my tears, know this; I love my boy.
But I am ready to let him go.
Say a prayer for me and mine.