A Kindle was missing. Again. Said Kindle belonged to one son and had been taken on numerous occasions by another son who was on restriction from electronics for the 100th or maybe the 1000th time – I’ve lost track. He would take other people’s electronics when his were taken away. He would hide them in his room and eventually we would catch on that he had someone else’s device. A few times he has even taken back his own device before his restriction was over. In a way I can’t blame him because he always seems to be on restriction. But on the other hand he has been invited to discuss how he can earn back his devices and he never does that (he then would have to actually talk to me or his dad)- so I guess it is easier take someone else’s for a while until caught. Sometimes I wonder why I even care so much that I take away his stuff all the time…I guess think I am saving him from himself for now while he is too immature to realize what can be hurtful even if it seems fun–but for how long can I run ahead and try to make him safe from his own doings? At what point will he realize he is the one stepping on his own feet?
So last night we realized a kindle was missing. My husband looked in my son’s room and found a kindle charger and a kindle cover but no kindle device. I think my husband figured we would catch him with it sometime and we could deal with it then and he sat back down to watch the baseball game. I, on the other hand, was in a cranky mood. I am going to blame it menopause because the crappy mood came over me while sitting in the parking lot of tractor supply. It just landed on me- there it was for no reason… So it was still with me when the kindle issue came up – and I think I actually brought up the kindle issue- and it made me more cranky because I really wondered why did I even care- he has already seen things he shouldn’t have been trying to see on the internet, and he has already clocked many hours gaming. Frankly- yet again I tire myself out trying worrying over a stupid device. Yet I was determined to find this darn kindle and I knew where it was—yep in my sons room.
So I marched on into his room and demanded he give me the kindle. He denied having it of course but I was sure it was there. I insisted it was in there somewhere and he best hand it over. I wasn’t yelling but I was getting more mad each second. He then insisted he didn’t have it- and he is really good at lying and I just could not believe him. He then said something he normally would not say to me. “I understand why you would think I would have it – but this time I don’t.” Huh? He understands why I am there picking on him? This is a big step for him- but I was still not sure he was telling the truth- I still was sure he had it. I got a little flustered – I realized I might be wrong- so I left in a huff. I hauled my nastiness off to bed…sometimes it is better to just cast yourself away from people when in this type of mood. My punishment would arrive between 12 midnight and 1:30 am in the form of a hot flash. My daily penance when I am good or bad.
This morning I was faced with an slew of things to do (and I am writing instead) and one thing that I had to do was clean off part of my desk because I was looking for some crucial document (I did find it by the way!) and what do i find under a pile of paper? Ok – you know it – yes- The Kindle! The lost one. My bad- it was on my desk all along. I feel like crap because I confronted my kid who has enough issues to deal with each day and here I come pointing fingers at him. Even if in some way I was justified to suspect him -I still handled it all wrong. And again- I ask myself why do I care so much..why is it I have to keep trying to save him from himself? Most of the time I forget why he has been restricted from devices. This time I know why- he was surfing the net looking at things a 13 year old boy wants to see but should not see. So I feel justified in the punishment – I have further locked down the devices -but it is exhausting worrying about it all.
This is the part of motherhood that you don’t realize you are going to get until you have other beings to be responsible for. The constant barrage of worry over things that could hurt them but they don’t get it. It begins when they are little and you leave the store and they have a piece of candy in their hand – not paid for – you head back into the store and tell the clerk what happened – pay for the candy and then begin the talk about paying for what you take – you explain what stealing is -even a small piece of candy..then you worry if you have a future thief on your hands. It never stops – nobody tells you that. I see my mother-in-law worry for her 64 year old first-born – when he leaves to go back to Philly after a visit to her in Maryland she tell him to call when he gets home so she can rest and not worry that is in a ditch on the side of the road. It will never stop. And with that curse comes a blessing. Being a parent is a double edged sword. You get huge high and huge huge lows. You have to worry if your troubled kid will have friends, a career, a family. Will he be addicted to porn? Maybe if we lock down everything now we can save him. But we really can’t – but we have to try. The odds are things will be fine and will have the normal baggage from kidhood and being raised by flawed adults. The odds are my kid will have his share of ups and downs and maybe a bit more bc he has ADHD and is on the Autism spectrum. His world view is different than others not on that spectrum- he has gifts- so many gifts and he has curses too. In the end as much as we try to block his way to danger he might still find it – but as a parent I need to step in and help guide him while I may have some influence in his life. Because sometime he will be on his own and maybe he will hear my voice when faced with making a hard choice- maybe he will choose the right thing. But for me as mom the worry won’t end- even if he becomes a physician and finds the cure to cancer- I will still worry. All I can say to this is thank you Lord for the blessing of being a parent this is all a part of the journey -the worry, oh the worry -but oh the love – and because of the vast worry I am truly thankful for wine… There are great medicinal benefits in one nice glass of wine.
So what do you do when you are a worried parent that has obviously come down hard on their kid and then realize you made a mistake? OK you could drink wine but really you must apologize- that is what you do. Because a human – even a teen who messes up all the time to the point you might pull your hair out – deserves the respect of an apology when they have been wronged- EVEN if they have wronged you many times and never seem to apologize….(this fact makes apologizing harder for me but I am the adult here and i am actually sorry for the incident). This son who is in trouble so much- he also has a very forgiving heart. That is one of his many gifts. So when he got home from school I had an apology on the tip of my tongue- but then my other son(we will call him the gossiping son) said he heard around school that his brother got angry at a peer in a class and poked the kid with a pencil and had to be sent to guidance. My eyebrows went up and my apology stayed in my mouth. I asked my son about it and he said there was no poking with a pencil and that his brother should not listen to the gossip (I always say any attention is good attention- oh that was if you are famous – well anyway). There was an anger incident he admitted but no hurting another person (kids on the spectrum can have anger issues – and mine does) and he and the counselor discussed it. I did not hear from the counselor so I decided they felt that they handled just fine it in school.
Geez I thought- would this kid ever have friends? Did he even want them?—the worry train continues – but I still had something I needed to do- so I did. “I am sorry I blamed you for taking the Kindle.” — “Why, where was it- you found it?” blurted out my gossiping son..”Yes it was on my desk under a bunch of papers…I am sorry I blamed you” I said to the son I had wronged. I think he was done with all convos about school and had moved on to a book and clearly had moved on from last nights altercation bc he looked up and said’ Oh- it’s ok mom.” he smiled and went back to reading.
I sure have a lot to learn in the parenting realm and I don’t want to care about all the exhausting details that raising kids comes with but really I wouldn’t trade any of it. There are some days that I can’t wait to be over because I am so tired from all the details and all the worry. But there are so many other days where I fall into bed and I realize how truly cool it is to be a parent to some pretty cool kids. So is the worry worth it? Yes…would I have signed up if I knew that the worry will never end? Yes because I would never have fathomed the depth of the worry even if it was completely explained to me and I had signed a contract saying I understood…because you don’t realize it until you are actually a parent. And really even with all the hard parts -I thank God for the privilege of being a mom everyday- well most days anyway! (Oh and I do thank him for the wine too!).
—Thanks for reading…