But tonight, tonight they are mad. They are chafing against my parental restraints and demanding I loosen my grip on the reigns of their lives.
To which I say, heck no.
The source of this contention? A party.
An un-chaperoned house party attended by a plethora of hoodlums I don’t know. And by hoodlums, I mean any child whose diaper I haven’t changed.
It’s not that I’m against parties in general. I enjoy a good party and I’ll occasionally imbibe in a spirit or two. I’ve even been known to dance on a table or two in my time. But the difference is, I’m an adult. An adult who remembers what happens at teenaged parties. Because I attended those parties when I was a teenager.
I’m not ready to have children old enough to attend teenaged parties.
I’m not old enough to have my children surrounded by their under aged beer swilling peers.
You know what happens when teenagers drink? Nothing good, I promise you. Ask my dad. He’s still mad about the time one of his children attended such a party, drank too much cheap tequila and cavorted wildly with other boozed up teenagers only to have to fetch said child from said party and watch them puke all over the interior of his brand new truck.
It wasn’t me, I swear.
I’m not such a fuddy duddy that I don’t want my children to go out and have fun with their friends simply because I’m stuck at home, slowly losing my mind while watching re-runs of The Big Bang Theory. I think parties are a useful rite of passage in every teen’s life.
I’m just not ready for my teens to have access to that passage yet. They’ve only just turned 14 and 15 and I don’t think it’s a bad idea to wait another year (or two if I’m really delusional) before having to cross that bridge.
The memories of the parties I attended when I was their age are still indelibly imprinted in my mind. I remember what some of those boys and girls did back at those parties, when the only adult supervision there was some drunken older brother and his equally inebriated friends, handing out the booze. Sure those boys and girls (some of whom where my friends) all grew up to marry and start families of their own, but every time I see them or hear their names, I don’t think “what respectable young adults they turned out to be!” No. I think, “Wow, remember where they put that hair brush?”
Add into that, the very legitimate safety concerns of drinking and driving, a healthy fear of peer pressure and some general maternal anxiety and I’ll admit it, I’m the mom who wouldn’t let her kids go to the house party in town.
At ages 14 and 15, I just don’t see the need for my kids to be in any type of social situations where they’ll be forced to make a decision about booze. Not yet. It’s not that I don’t trust them and the choices they’ll make, I just don’t think they need to be making those choices just yet.
They’re kids. They’re not infallible, no matter how well I’ve parented them all these years.
So I want to keep them close a little while longer, while I can, and use these precious last moments to cram as much parental wisdom and motherly guilt down their throats in the hopes of when they do finally wrest a bit of freedom from me, my voice will be ringing in their ears and they’ll make the right choices.
Or in the very least, not puke in my vehicle, but rather, their father’s.
I’m not too worried about my kids giving me the silent treatment in the meantime. I figure they’re bound to start talking to me sooner or later. Likely when they want to ask if they can go to yet another party.