Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Saturday, November 12, 2005

What constitutes a date?

The girl went out this afternoon with a friend. A male friend. I think it's not a boy she's at all interested in, in fact I think he might be the gay friend she was alluding to a week or so back when she talked to me about how different her current school is to her last school. I haven't met this boy, but I've spoken to his mom on the phone, and I've talked to him on the phone as well. So, as usual the plans changed as soon as she left the property, but she has kept in touch all afternoon, even telling me she was in a part of town she's not supposed to be in, but of course, currently forgot that rule. Then, late afternoon she asked if they could go see a movie. That made me extremely uncomfortable. I told her 'no', that I didn't want her to go to the movies alone with a boy. She wanted to know why, and I told her it didn't seem safe to me, especially since her behavior in the not to distant past made me very very suspicious. For once, she didn't even try to talk me out of it, she instead asked if it would be OK if they went in a group. I said that would be OK if I knew who else was going, if I knew at what theatre they would be, and if I knew what film they were seeing and the times of the movies. She called me no fewer than 6 times with arrangements, and until I had all of that information, I was firm in my resolve. But miraculously, she had everything lined up and I said she could go.

I know that this is a time where you have to let go and let your kids have a more independant life. I understand that this is important, that as a parent you have to show that you respect their social lives but have rules that must be followed as well. I get all of the intellectual parts of having a young teen, but the whole thing is just so scary at times. The Girl knows I have serious trust issues with her, and she's rising to every occasion by being honest and trying to stay out of harms way. I believe that she's learned the hard way how to be safe and stay out of trouble. I think I'm more worried about the fact that she's such a follower and will be again led astray by kids with less supervision. I'm hoping that this won't happen, of course, but in the back of my mind I can't breathe until she's home safe. Why is this so hard for me?

She just walked in, and I'm already breathing easier. This is another example of her respecting my rules, and doing what she said she would do. She's growing up and she's not fighting the supervisory rules anymore. With that said, why do I feel like my arm is about to be cut off every time she walks out of the house? Am I always going to feel like this? And what the hell did parents do before there were cell phones? How on earth did they let their kids go out in the dark without being able to contact them immediately?

Honestly, I think I'm going to end up like one of those nutty moms on Dr Phil who follows their kids on dates. Help!
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Anonymous Karin said...

Letting go is hard for everyone I suspect. Mine's only 11 months old, but even the tiny bit of letting go I have to do now (like leaving her with grandparents, etc.) is tough. I never dreamed even that would be as hard as it is. Just means you love them, you know?

12/11/05 11:36 PM  

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