And now I want you to imagine what The One Where He Tells Me He Kissed a Girl will be like…

When my son walked through the door yesterday, after having broken the “no walking home” rule, I calmly asked him to sit down so we could talk.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I was conflicted about the situation.
The act of walking home isn’t a “bad” thing. He didn’t shoplift, or get in a fight, or snort crack. He walked home, with friends. HOWEVER, I had told me he wasn’t allowed to walk home.
So, I was upset that he had done something he knew he wasn’t supposed to do.
I started by telling him that I wanted to be clear that “walking home” wasn’t a bad thing, but the fact that he DISOBEYED ME was the reason I was upset.
At first, he tried to talk himself out of it. “You told me I could walk home if I had a friend with me.”
“That’s not what I said, Andrew. I said that perhaps I would consider letting you walk home IF you had a group of friends with you, but that for now, the answer is NO. Can I ask you why you didn’t just call BEFORE you took off walking?”
He put his head down and said “I knew you’d say no.”
“And you did it anyway?”
“Yes, because I really wanted to walk home with Ryan and Anthony, and I thought if I was with them, you wouldn’t get mad.”
I told him I needed a few minutes to think about what I was going to do.
“Mom, just know I’m sorry and I’ll never do it again.”
I spent a few minutes in my room, thinking of what to do with my son, the one I gave birth to almost 13 years ago, whom I love with every fiber of my being, whom I have spent my entire adult life protecting from anything that could possibly harm him. The one who is growing up TOO DAMN FAST.
I started to cry. I realized that the reason this upset me so much didn’t really have anything to do with the fact he broke the “no walking home” rule and almost everything to do with the fact that the little boy who emerged from my vagina after 2 hours of pushing, making me a momma13 years ago on March 3rd is no longer a little boy, but a budding young man.
Don’t get me wrong, he did disrespect me by breaking the rule, and that deserved to be dealt with, but, the fact of life is that kids do break rules from time to time. Even my perfect children. And yeah, I get upset and there are consequences, but this one act of disobedience is about much more than “not asking me first.” It’s about him growing up, becoming more independent, making big decisions…
It’s hard to put into words exactly what I’m feeling right now without sounding ridiculous. “He walked home without asking first, it’s NOT THE END OF THE WORLD.” I understand that, but this feeling that I have in the pit of my stomach the same feeling I had the summer before he began kindergarten.
I am not exaggerating when I say that I cried the entire summer. I couldn’t believe that MY BABY was no longer going to spend every day here with me, making me laugh, giving me kisses, making messes for me to clean up… I couldn’t even comprehend my mornings without him here with me. I cried every damn time I thought about him being gone for 4 hours a day.
And? I worried if I had spent enough quality time with him in his first 5 years of life. I should have taken him to the park more often! I should have read more books to him! I should have taken him to chuck e cheeses more often! I should have watched more movies with him! I should have cuddled him more!
I called my friend on one of my really “bad days” and told her that I felt like I hadn’t spent enough time with him. Her response? “STOP IT, you spend ALL of your time with him, you do fun things with him all of the time, you’ve been a great mom, DON’T YOU EVER QUESTION THAT.”
I’m having those feelings all over again. The feeling of “losing my baby boy to the big bad world”.
My heart is broken right now and I’m feeling a little lost.
I realize that I’m being very dramatic about this, but MY GOD IN HEAVEN I love that boy and I am scared as hell about all of the bad things that could happen to him as he becomes more independent.
I want to protect him, to keep him pure and innocent and the fact that I can’t do that for the rest of his life is a little hard to accept.
After a few minutes of thinking and crying and wondering what to do with He Who Disobeyed Me, I composed myself, walked into the kitchen, sat down next to him and talked to him.
I’m not going to go into the details of what happened when it was all said and done, but I will tell you that I know he won’t be doing anything like that anytime soon.
I also know that I need to sit down and reevaluate my “position” on the issue because the truth is that he probably is old enough to walk home with friends, but I just wasn’t willing to admit that until this very moment.

19 thoughts on “And now I want you to imagine what The One Where He Tells Me He Kissed a Girl will be like…

  1. Mamacita

    Y, you are such a GOOD mother. Your rules are reasonable. AND, you are reasonable. You are reasonable in that you are aware that rules must change as children grow older. Also, even though your son knew he was ‘in trouble,’ he was not afraid to face you with his admission of guilt, because he knew you would be reasonable and kind even while you might have to chastize him a little for disobeying you. All these things, hon, are good, good, and better!
    Now. When everyone is calm, sit down with him and work out a new rule for this issue. Don’t give up the reins, but let him know that you acknowledge his age and his ‘social position’ with the peers, and work something out.
    You are such a lovely person. All moms should be like you.

  2. Annika

    This post, Yvonne? Mom of the Year. If I can be half this honest with myself and my children I will be the luckiest woman on earth.

  3. GC

    I totally understand where you’re coming from. It’s difficult as a mom to realize that your babies are no longer babies. That slowly they’ll turn from that dependent child to that independent teen. But I think communication is the key. If you have good communication, you’ll never really “lose” your grasp on them. And from what I’ve seen, you and your children communicate well. :)

  4. Hed

    You know, as I read this, my thought process went right along with you. Not only are you a great mom, but it sounds like you have a great kid, and a great relationship with that kid. Because of that, you will always have the power to reach him, whether it shows on the surface instantly, or not.
    And your open mind is powerful thing.
    I love to see parents meeting their kids halfway respectfully, rather than forcing rules on them. Of course, there are times when there should always be definite consequences, but there are also times when different rules could probably be bent a little.
    He’s a good kid. And it’s because of you!
    -H

  5. FlippyO

    Don’t think of all of the bad things that could happen to him, but all of the good things that will happen around him, because of him. Because of how you’re raising him.

  6. Salena

    I know that I don’t know you and although I very rarely say anything I do read here often. I know it must be hard seeing him grow up before your eyes. One thing that is more than obvious to me is that you are a damn good mother. I admire you for that.

  7. Amy

    My daughter is only three months old, and our pediatrician told us to start her on a little rice cereal because she’s always really hungry. I’m having the worst time not breastfeeding her as often because it feels like she doesn’t NEED me as much anymore, and it really breaks my heart. If I’m having trouble dealing with this, I can not IMAGINE what you’re going through. Though I must admit, I think you’re doing a GREAT job handling it.
    -Long-time Lurker

  8. sophie

    Good luck as you continue this journey! I am impressed that you are very much aware of how your feelings impact your decisions–and you adjust accordingly–many moms out there do not. I have no children–just a niece and a nephew I adore–and even they are growing too fast for me! Hang in there!

  9. Candy

    I love the way you spoke to him. No swift and perhaps unjust punishments. Very grown up of you.
    I know how hard this is. Just follow your heart.
    And god if I don’t stop sounding like a greeting card, I’m going to shoot myself in the foot.

  10. Ginny

    Wow, that is tough. I’m amazed at how often I have to reevaluate my position on things with my oldest (still only 5 and not yet in kindergarten). Decisions, decisions..they never get easier, do they?

  11. Kay

    Seriously. I completely get all of this.
    And you get to go through this again, and again. Poor Mama but blessed Mama too. 😉

  12. Rori

    You will never lose your baby. You are raising a man and he will be a good man and you will have hundreds of grandchildren.
    :)

  13. clickmom

    Y- I feel your pain, my oldest son will be 13 in March too! I am, like you, in that between stage where he is starting to need to be more independent and wanting to do things and go places on his own.
    This December I let him wander the mall for 2 hours by himself so he could buy family gifts that he wanted to surprise every one with. I mean, it feels like yesterday I was still telling him that if he let go of my hand a stranger might try to steal him away from me!
    It’s a tough place for us Moms to be in to. I am sure you handled it with grace and style.

  14. trish

    As you know, my son is also 13, and I’ve found the problem is that sometimes when you’re lenient about some things or friendly with your kids, they forget that you’re the parent, too. At least that’s been my experience, and I have to remind him that I’m still the mom, even though I can joke around and have fun and talk about “stuff.” Does that make sense? Cute pics!

  15. Kanga

    So true, I do not want to let go and let them grow up. My oldest is 16 and wants his liscense now. I just know he isn’t going to obey the speed limit, yet he needs to grow up. I gave life to him and he means so much to me, oh to let him go. He is however, a very hansome and responsible young man when it comes to a job and driving. So far!!!!!

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