Monday, May 17, 2010

It wasn't that kind of revival

Today I had to have a Come to Jesus talk with other people. Twice. No, this wasn't religious in any form. It was more along the lines of "Straighten your ass up, or I'll make your life hell" kinda talk.

The first group was my employees. How I managed to hire a full dozen people that never matured beyond second grade is beyond me. The meeting was productive and I think that some necessary changes should help make everyone's day's easier, but sweet baby Jesus, they are a loud bunch. Ex-inlaws loud. Monster truck rally loud. I think I still have a little reverb going on inside my head.

The second talk was with my eldest. She's testing her boundaries as a teenager and pushed too far again tonight. There was the standard "Oh shit, I'm caught" moment. The five minutes of yelling time. The requisite twenty minutes of pouting silence, and then the hour long talk. Or should I say TALK. (It deserves capital letters.) My daughter seems to be under the misunderstanding that I should be her friend. All her friends are BFF's with their mothers. Their mothers understand. Their mothers share.

Ok, listen kiddo. I'm not your friend. You have plenty of friends for that. I've met them. I'm your parent. It's my job to make sure that you grow up to be a respectable human being that can take care of herself. Someone who will consider consequences before she acts. Please understand that when you're older, I'd love to hang out with you, but right now it's not in the job description.

Years ago, my cousins were causing some trouble. They were teenaged boys and involved in many stupid acts that teenage boys can get into. There was drinking, drugs, pregnancy scares, wrecked cars, detentions, arrests and boot camps. When their mother, my aunt, was filling us in one evening on the latest escapades of debauchery, she made a statement that has seared into my brain. She said, with all the nonchalance she could muster, "Well, someone had to be Charles Manson's mother." Ummm....really? She was excusing herself for everything? No-second guessing? No regrets?

Now what my child did is nothing compared to the cousins. It's a blip for an otherwise good kid. She goes to school, her grades are excellent, her friends are not wanted by the police. But did I over-react by not being her friend? I don't think so.

And dear Bette, if years down the road you ever read this, I love you but I was right. We can be friends now, but back then you needed a parent.


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