Saturday, October 23, 2010
Posted by Maggie May Labels: Babies To Teenagers
Tonite Dakota was an hour late home. The number he left me to reach his friend, who was driving, was the kid's home phone number. Not helpful because they weren't home. They were out. That was the point. I want to go out, Mom, he said, and we negotiated, because he's been grounded, and we've been doing some things, and this was a step towards 'rebuilding trust' as the experts like to say. After he walked in the door I heard his excuses and then said uhmhmmm, which is the best response at 10pm, and promptly had a totally unrelated outburst over the top dresser drawer full of black wires that I carefully rolled and organized which now lay like a black hornet nest, jumbled and useless, due to the boys and Mr. Curry opening, rummaging, and closing the drawer.
I hate how whenever I'm worried and upset lately, I feel like I have to go the bathroom. I blame the baby. She's sitting on my intestines.
I'm learning about letting go. I'm re-learning it. I'm learning it when applied to my children, which is a completely and totally different proposition than letting go of anything else, like grades, pissy co-workers, traffic, mothers, the guy in line who cuts ahead, the sag of your ass, the fact that your life/labor and birth/marriage/business is not exactly like you planned, your career stalled, your hair went curly when you hit your late twenties, you still don't have savings, whatever it is. Letting go of what your almost-not-a-kid-anymore-kid does is horrible, unless they are straight A perfect driving college attending straight edge friend loving sexually abstinent persons free of inner demons or conflict. It's horrible because your entire job as a parent becomes basically turned around inside out and you are supposed to be able to do the exact opposite of what you've always done. Instead, you are asked to have the relationship with them of a caring and firm but lovingly detached aunt or uncle, where you can magically set boundries and watch your child careen away from them off cliffs. And you are not supposed to lose your mind while this happens. I know. I thought it was a joke at first too.
Instead, you are supposed to let them make their own mistakes. Because the part where you teach them values is pretty much set. And the years of guiding them (read: keeping them) away from bad influences are over. The years of their dependence on you before all others is gone except in emergencies, because they are trying to find themselves, and how can they do that when Mommy still tells them what that answer is supposed to be? The years of control are over. You can't control who they eat with at lunch, who they hang out with after school, who they get a ride home with, if they have sex, take a drink, smoke a cigarette. You can try! Have fun! What you can do is set boundries and enforce consequences. You can pray that all you have poured into them and taught them will matter. You can let them know what you expect. But you can't make.
I will never forget sitting outside my house at 15 years old on my driveway, smoking a Marlboro. I had been crying and fighting with my Mom and was waiting for my long haired, Slayer loving, guitar playing, sex with me having boyfriend to show up in his blue sports car. And suddenly, slumped against my garage, I had a realization that changed my life forever. Mom can't make me stay here, I thought. She can't make me stop smoking. She can't make me stay grounded if I am. She can't chain me to my bed. I am free to listen to her or not, as long as I'm willing to suffer whatever consequences happen. And I didn't go off the deep end. But I never looked at my parents the same, or felt like a child again in the same way. I knew I was truly the one to decide my own fate.
Ever dropped. I went to bed with my breasts lying high and neat on my stomach like an African queen, and woke with the top of my stomach squishy and soft, where once my Biggie Pea had jutted her hiney, and an enormous pressure on my pelvic bone that only increased every time I stood or walked. By midafternoon I am walking like I did the first couple years every time Mr. Curry and I had date nite. It hurts. And I am peeing every 45 minutes. I am 35 weeks on Tuesday. My book says after your first pregnancy, it's highly unusual to drop unless it's a week before your labor. Well. I am known for being highly unusual. So we will see what the good doctor says on Tuesday morning, at my next appointment.
Today Mr. Curry had the stomach flu, so I took Dakota Ian and Lola to the Pumpkin Patch, and all went well. At first. Until Dakota got angry and took off into the parking lot, and Ian tried to follow him, and I told him he couldn't, and he listened but made a point to walk ten feet behind Lola and I after that. Just to show me, you know. So I took a deep breath after jabbering at Ian for a minute about respect and family and blah, and told Lola we were going to forget about those boys and their grumpy selves and have fun. And we did.
Still, I felt like I had to go to the bathroom. That roil and boil and stress reaction. Stress equals loose bowels. Let that phrase simmer for a while. Pretty.