Off the Rails

"Crazy, but that's how it goes." - Ozzy Osbourne

Okay, so I have already had the Calgon bath. What do I holler for at this point to "take me away?????" I am suffering from post traumatic dinner stress disorder. (My husband was rubbing my shoulders until he read this line. . . and he has now walked away. . . )

It all started this past weekend. A long-time friend wanted my fifteen-year-old daughter to watch her two-year-old while they went to a dinner party in Mobile. They used to live two blocks away, but have recently moved across town.

My husband is, shall we say, intensively aware of his oldest daughter's combination of wholesome beauty and naivete and reluctant to place her into any position which offers her the slightest compromise (he's still hoping she won't date until she is thirty.) He "wasn't kosher" with the idea that she'd be babysitting alone in a strange neighborhood after dark.

Therefore, I had to drive across town at dark and sit with her until my friend returned home.

My daughter accepted the whole arrangement with dignity, but she later shared with me that she feels sheltered compared to her friends. My problem is that I can see the logic from both sides and I am the Great Compromiser.

Now, here's where I drop off into a confusing mix of mom-guilt and parental necessity. . .when she said her friend wanted to come over and go to the movies, I said yes immediately because I felt badly for her. As it turned out, I had to wait thirty minutes for them outside of the theater, then had to drive the friend down Davis Highway to Nine Mile Road at five-thirty in the rain- it took me two hours to get home!!!

(I had better not hear a hint of heavy breath when I ask her to unload the dishwasher!!!!)

On top of all of this, I am already slightly stressed because the nineteen year old has come by today and the tire on his friggin' motorcycle is SMOOTH and he needs to use my Mom-bus to go get a new one. I have forbidden myself from saying, "I told you not to buy that dang motorcycle!!!"

While he is at the parts store, he sees these killer-cool hand-grips that he has to have. He and his dad are trying to get the old ones off and don't realize that one of them is CONNECTED to the throttle cable - so now he is using my car because he can't use his bike until he fixes it and the parts places are all closed tomorrow. (I offered him use of my car AND the money for the part and I STILL did not get rid of him!!!!)

So I get home from my cross-town trek and start fixing dinner (Taco Tuesday!) and find out that broken motorcycle son and his friend Moochie will be staying for dinner. Mr. Suzuki elects this evening's dinner to relate his frequent high-school skips to Waffle House (I will never eat there again without thinking of it!) and the fact that he often sneaked out of his bedroom window while he was living at home. Unfortunately, it did not end there. . .

I steamed in my bathtub this evening thinking of the years I wore hand-me-downs (and I was durn glad to have them, too!) so that I could afford his tae-kwon-do lessons and the time I sat in a forty-degree rain to watch him play the last twenty seconds of a football game and the fact that I STILL haven't dropped him from my car insurance. Or how I worked in my Dad's store from five a.m. until 1:45 so I could pick him up from school every day. And the times I camped with the cub scouts and hiked five miles with a two-year-old on my back and a four-year-old in my arms so that he could earn his stinkin' patches. And, of course, all of the times I sat in some authoritarian's office proclaiming my son's integrity and begging their forgiveness. . .

And then I said to myself, "Lord, if You can hear me from my sad and steamy bathtub, please give my son the beautiful gift of four fine children of his own. . . "

And then I thought of my own parents. If you guys are laughing out loud, I just don't want to know about it. . . But the thought gives me hope. . .


NS said...

this brought a lump in my throat. particularly, the paragraph about all the things you did with/for your little angel, who is now a 19 year old, independent, motorcycling, separate human being.

oh, how life comes full circle, huh? You are a terriffic mom, and i just know that your prayer will be answered. One day, he too will see what you went through, and his wife will be soaking away in the tub. Don't worry... we all grow up and appreciate our parents and fear our children!

Lara said...

You know what, though, it goes by so fast. .it's worth every minute.

I guess teenagers are DESIGNED to be a little obnoxious, otherwise, we might never want them to leave!