I got the email first thing on a Monday morning and I’m sure that the coffee hadn’t kicked in yet. The email came from a long time friend that I first met back when we were both new homeschool moms and our kids were the same age. The letter accused my son of using inappropriate language. Well, actually, more of a derogatory remark was made. It was confirmed when she spoke to her teen, at which time, her teen proceeded to throw my teen a little further under the bus. Yes, okay, maybe I’m feeling a bit protective of my cub!
My gut reaction was to tell her that she was lying. My angel child would never do such a thing! So many questions were running though my mind. Some made me angry and some had me confused. How do I reply? What do I say? Do I scream at my son and tell him he’s bad? Not believe what he says? Not believe what she says? This definitely ranked high in my book as an unpleasant chore of being a good mom! Being a reasonable (most of the time) and responsible (all of the time) parent, I knew that I needed to get to the bottom of this and reply to the owner of the pointing finger.
I never thought that I would be the mom with the kid who is the instigator in his circle of friends. You know that mom, the whispers in the shadows that follow behind her unknowingly. “How can she raise her kid like that?” Or, “I can’t believe she lets him get away with that kind of behavior!” Yes, I’m sure I’ve said those very words before, and now, I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of it.
Being a parent is a tough job. We’ve all heard that before and if you are a parent, you know it to be true. We do the best we can in whatever the situation may be, bad behaviors and all. There is no guidebook that has a chapter on what to do if your teen behaves inappropriately and how to respond to the other family in a tactful email. I wish there was, I would have copied it word for word.
The big lesson of the moment wasn’t for my son, it was for me. I realized that my oldest is his own being and he is out of my jurisdiction when it comes to making his decisions on how he behaves himself when he’s on his own. Good or bad, I have to trust in myself that I did and still am doing everything possible to guide him in the right direction. Yes, there will be pitfalls and I will be there to throw the rope down to pull him back up when he falls in. That’s what a good parent does, right?
I haven’t received a response since the email went out and I may never hear anything about it ever again. There are lots of wagging fingers when it comes to parenting and other people’s children, so if I hear parenting whispers and opinions come out of the shadows, I think I’ll just put my hands in my pockets.
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