In which the Tart family has to face that the TWEEN may make some poor decisions. [not a writing blog]
Before I forget though, don't forget to stop over at Burrower's Books & Balderdash to see the image and whether you want to give writing a Drabble a shot!
Okay, back to the blog!
My son has historically been my easy child. (that doesn't mean he's not ODD, just easy) He does many of the things he is supposed to without being asked (homework, brushing his teeth, bathing)--those of you with younger children may not REALIZE you can't take these things for granted—not all children do them without battles or trying to sneak out of them.
We left him alone from time to time starting at age 9, as he just seemed to have a really good head on his shoulders. I should have remembered that at age 4, he was my kid that took off down the street because 'the woods looked interesting'--the one who would take off on his bike without telling us where he was going. You see... he is mostly a good decision maker when he realizes there is a DECISION to be made, but he has lived all but his first 19 months in Ann Arbor, where reality never comes. He has grown up FEARLESS.
My kids were both born in Portland, Oregon—safe, as cities go, but a CITY nonetheless. My daughter was a REALLY PRETTY baby and toddler and as my first, I was TOTALLY paranoid somebody would take her, so I ALWAYS kept her close when we were in public places.
We got to Ann Arbor, wealthy college town without a spec of reality in sight... at a grocery store I rounded a corner as she lollygagged looking at something she was probably trying to convince me to buy. I hear this blood-curdling shriek.
“MOM! SOMEBODY'S GUNNA TAKE ME!”
Oh, the shame of instilling so much paranoia in my child! I was mortified! And I began the slow undoing—we live someplace a little safer now... we don't have to be quite as careful...
So I suppose in UNDOING for my daughter, I OVERUNDID for my son (who had nothing that needed undoing—he was tantrum boy—nobody was EVER going to steal HIM.). And ironically, while they didn't need that paranoia for a decade, I've seen in BOTH kids that it would be fairly useful as teens. My daughter maintains enough healthy skepticism that she has made such decisions as telling the boys who like to take a girl off to get stoned and leave her there that they are HORRIBLE and she is NOT INTERESTED. You see... her paranoia lets her spot their plan (that, and the reputation they have for DOING it, but a lot of teen girls have a 'they wouldn't do that to ME' thing going.)
But Back to my Son, the Changeling...
So Friday my son was at a different friend's house... then ANOTHER friends house... then he was doing this then that... long story short, he and his friend wanted to do DIFFERENT things that night, the friend wanted to go to Extreme Bounce (which my son loves, but it is always here) and my SON wanted to go to the Carnival that comes once a year and sets up in the high school parking lot. So Thing 2 GOES, with a different 'friend' then wants to spend the night... Mr. Tart approves, and we don't learn until the next day that this boy was a BRAND NEW acquaintance from ANOTHER TOWN... holy crap, are you KIDDING ME? How did we let that happen?
So Saturday I pick them up at the mall, drop this other kid at a condo, as he requested... THAT was when I learn he lives in Ypsie (read: rough neighborhood--though that is exaggeration, but still, around here, it is relatively rough)... The boy had something to do and then was going to come spend the night with Thing 2—he arrived LATE... and he didn't actually ARRIVE. Whoever was giving him the ride just DROPPED HIM OFF at a phone store up the street because they were lost... just LEFT HIM THERE! What kind of parents did we send our son off with on Friday? And what kinds of decisions is Thing 2 making that he doesn't even think that is pertinent information to tell us?!
Turned OUT fine, but I suppose we've had a wake up call that reality DOES periodically come to Ann Arbor, and that we need to be more diligent.
The New Debate with Mr. Tart
HIS answer is 'well you won't have anything more to do with that kid.' MY answer is 'that KID needs some responsible adults in his life, so being HERE is a better answer than just shoving him off and not letting him come back.' I'd love to hear what you guys think about kids with irresponsible parents...