I once was a teenager, in 1985. Where my son is now, getting ready to turn twelve, is exactly where I was on May 31st, 1985. Ironically his birthday is June 1st, the day after mine, our personalities are NOTHING alike (sarcasm)……
Last week when I was in the car line to pick him up from school I was ambushed by him and a friend. Both smiling, I rolled down my window to hear what I suspected was a proposal. Kameron – “Mom I want to go to the library with Dylan today!” “What,” said his mother, “what library?” Kameron – “the Greenwood Library, Dylan said I could go with him today.” Thinking to myself, the Greenwood Library is right down the street from OLG, but not having been there myself, I defaulted to “I’m sorry you can’t go today, mom has a meeting,” which wasn’t a lie, I really did. “But MOM,” say Kam, (whose eyes were filling up with tears) – I said “get in the car bud.” Wanting to say, don’t embarrass yourself dude, crying in front of one of your friends, uncool, even I know that.
Dylan, defeated, walked away. Kameron, crying got into my car, and slammed the door in disgust. I told him that I was sorry, but it was the first time I had heard about the library thing and that I was going to have to know more about it before he could just go to the library, unsupervised, down the street, without adult supervision.
Shit, I’ve become my parents.
When I was a teenager I could never understand why my parents wouldn’t let me do things that my friends got to do. Go to movies, to the mall, spend the night at a friend’s house (without calling the other parents – to make sure that was actually what I was doing.) It seemed ridiculous to me at the time. I would have to hear of my friends excursions from the weekend. What movies they got to see, what boys they met at the mall, that they got to have lunch together and just ordered dessert. Man, as a teenager, hearing that, it sucks. It also makes you hate your parents. Not knowing why they won’t let you do the same things your friends are doing, and not getting any reasoning backing the decision besides the “because I said so” response. I swore growing up, I would never say that to my children, what a joke.
A couple of days went by, again, I found myself in the car line. Amazingly, Dylan and Kameron found themselves outside my car again, with the same plea – the library, PLEASE MOM. I found myself making another excuse and telling Kameron, next week bud, let me find out more about it.
So over the weekend, I talked to another parent that I knew and asked if “”The Library” was on the up and up. If it wasn’t she would tell me and I would find further excuses for Kameron not to participate in this unsupervised event. She reluctantly told me that she has let her son go before, it was ok. “Baby Steps” as she put it, letting go of the fear I suppose we all have as parents, letting our child grow up. I thought back to the first time I dropped Kameron off at daycare, I sat outside the facility for 15 minutes, crying hysterically. When I looked in the window for the last time, he was laughing and playing with the other children, so there mom.
I promised Kameron that I would let him go to the library today. At 2:30 p.m. my heart sunk, that is the usual time I leave my house to pick him up. At 2:45 p.m. I started to feel a little panicked, thankfully Dr. Phil had an interesting show on today. At 3:05 p.m. I stopped myself from jumping in the car and driving down to check up on Kameron to see what he was doing. At 3:27 p.m. I couldn’t stop myself from getting in the car and driving down there, it was going to take me 20 minutes to get there anyway, my plan was to be there at 4:00 p.m. to pick him up. An hour is enough time isn’t it? To get the feel of the library, see what it’s all about, and decide whether or not he wants to go back.
I parked in the library parking spot, feeling happy that I was there, but remembering that Kameron didn’t have his phone, so I couldn’t call to see where he was. I walked in confident that he would be looking for me, waiting for me to take him home. I glanced into the cafe area – not there. I found the “Children’s Area” positive that he would be there. Looking around, nowhere to be found. I did find a classmate of his, he said he last saw Kameron was in the cafe, where I had just been, so I knew he wasn’t there. Practically running upstairs, past the cop that was leaned up on the stairs texting God knows who, I went into the community area. Looking around, I saw Kameron sitting with his friend Dylan, watching some video. I felt my blood pressure decreasing. Calmly, I tapped Kameron on the shoulder and said “hey bud, time to go.” Rolling his eyes at me, he reluctantly grabbed his things and stomped out to the parking lot.
Mad, he asked, “why did you come to get me so early?’ I rebutted “you were there for an hour, isn’t that good enough?”
Freedom, a little piece at a time, tiny pieces, for Mom’s sanity.