Good Enough Mother Confession, Part 2:
“She Is A TERRIBLE Mother…”
Okay stand down.. let me explain.
As many of you know, it’s been a bit of a rough go with my last child, Cole. As I have said before, I don’t feel it necessary to go into detail to protect him but also because it’s not critical to the story, IMHO. Suffice it to say it’s not been a lot of fun these last couple of years.
At any rate, the other day, just before we were going to take him to high school for the last time, right before he was to walk across the stage, we sat at the table talking.
Now before I go on, I need too explain this thing that happens; some of you parents can and will relate.
The conversation with Cole started innocuously enough then took a VERY deep turn.
He started telling me about the mother of one of his friends.
“Mom, she is a TERRIBLE mother!”
Parenting is hard and I try not to judge. Instead of jumping on his statement.. I let him talk.
As I said, my husband and I have had to put the hammer down on my son. We were not the most stringent parents but not the most lax either; we tried our best do be consistent. Nonetheless, Cole was the one who tested us. The one I cried myself to sleep over. The one who hated me; hated US! The one who thought the rules were stupid and served no real purpose.
So you can understand why, when he talked about his friend’s mother, it took everything in my being, not to choke on my food.
“What makes her terrible mother?” I asked cautiously.
“Well she lets him get away with everything. There are absolutely no consequences for his actions.”
It was at this point, I stared into my steak and tried too play it cool.
“Yeah? How so?”
He detailed a couple of examples which we did not know about, all the while shaking his head.
“Mom, it’s sort of ridiculous.”
“Cole. Do you see why dad and I did what we did? Why we were insistent about certain things? We we needed you to follow the rules?”
He nodded his head. And it wasn’t just to shut me up; he really understood.
He understood the method behind our parenting.. even though he didn’t agree with it at the time.
And then a shift occurred in ME. I saw my boy differently. He wasn’t some Id-driven, short-sighted teen (well, not ALL the time, anyway); I was talking to someone who understood the WHY. Here was someone who saw the affect of a life with no consequences.
I would love to say that all the rough patches between us have been smoothed over but that’s not real life. We are working our way back from the brink one day at a time. Buff and I have been able to ease some of our restrictions based on Cole’s behavior and because of that, Cole seems more willing to live within the parameters we have set out.
So I just wanted to say thanks. Thank you for those of you who reached out in solidarity or said a silent prayer.
We are getting there and for that, I am hopeful.