Monday, March 18, 2013

Adult Children and Being Responsible


This morning at 1:45 a.m. I was picking up my oldest son who is 22, his girlfriend and her friend, 21, from a St. Patrick's Day bash just a few miles from my home. Yes, I had to work today and yes, I was more than happy to be awake and driving four hours and 15 minutes before my alarm would be going off to tell me to get my butt out of bed and get to work.Why, you ask? Well, let me tell you.....

My oldest son is more or less my roommate now. He just turned 22, works two jobs and pays a little rent along with a couple of bills and whatever else he wants to do with his money. He's had a few rough patches but I love him, I'm his mom, I will always be his mom, and I will always be here for him - without question. The only thing is we don't really see each other much and there really hasn't been too much conversation with us in a while. When it happens (and it's been this way with him since he was a teenager) I will literally stop everything and listen to what he has to say to me.

That's why, on Saturday as I'm watching something (don't even remember what because it was probably on my DVR to watch and some things I can't just friggin' erase but I will sit there and play it and not really pay attention...) and he walks in the room with a Qtip in each ear because he just showered and needs to get the water out and asks me, "Mom are you doing anything tomorrow night?" to which I have to think, but not for too long, that no, I'm not and I will be home all night. "Do you work Monday?" he asks. "Yes but why? What do you need?" He goes into the explanation that he and his girlfriend and her/their best friend are making plans to go to the big St. Patty's Day celebration going on at a local bar/restaurant near our house. They have it all planned out how NOT to be drinking and driving and he asks if I would be ok with coming to pick them up when it's over at 2:00 a.m.

WITHOUT HESITATION - I pick up my phone right then to set an alarm for Monday morning at 1:45 a.m. I can't tell you how proud and excited I was that he would ask me. One, it shows me he still loves me and needs me and two, I know I won't be getting a "bail me out" phone call. Oh, and three, he's being MAJORLY responsible and I love that! I love to sleep but I know I will sleep MUCH better knowing these three adult kids will make it home safely and in one piece. This is something I never would have asked of my parents - EVER - and something I am more than happy to do for my kids - or anyone else for that matter.

My phone goes off at 1:35  a.m. with a text from him saying they are ready to be picked up. I am out the door in a matter of minutes, get to the pick up spot so I don't have to go through the massive parking lot of people and in they come. Now, I know his girlfriend but we've never actually had a conversation other than "Hi" and "Bye" as they come and go from the house. I meet the other friend who is very nice as I expected. They were a little tipsy, certainly too much to drive and VERY chatty at this weeeee hour of the morning. But I welcome all this because I do enjoy my kids and their friends. His girlfriend, who really has said no more than two words to me (which is fine. She's probably shy.) asks me a very interesting and fun to answer question, "So what is the most crazy night you've ever had?" Hmmmm, good question because there've been quite a few. But I gladly come up with my favorite story about NYE my junior year in high school. It's always good for a few laughs and shows that I'm a cool mom, not perfect and am not a prude. I've had my wild streak and am an over sharer. Transparent is what some over called me and I'm ok with that.

Some people wouldn't have agreed with my decision to get up and pick them up, especially since I had to work today. I don't understand that at all. I would much rather plan ahead to be the PASS (person appointed to stay sober) than to get a phone call about an accident or arrest. My opinion on parenting once your kids are in high school and into college and beyond it this: you can still be their parent and occasionally their friend as long as there is a mutual respect for each other. I want my kids to ALWAYS know that I am here for them. Even when they make stupid mistakes. I won't say "I told you so" or shove it back in their face when they need my help (except for this last week when my middle son groaned when I asked him to take out the trash and I had to remind him that I gave him $100 because his car got towed and it was hurting his bank account to have to get it out of the pound. I was justified!!)

Parents of young children don't ever want to think their child is going to grow up and do the same things we've done i.e. drinking, getting drunk, have sex, smoking - but they do and you should love them in spite of the fact that you don't want them to do these things. They will love you and appreciate you more later if you love and appreciate them now. Believe me, I never, in my wildest dreams, thought about this part of parenting. It's for a lifetime, truly. And for as long as I live and can be here for them, I will be.

These kids had a great time and when the party was over, it was over and they got home safe and in one piece (and possibly with a hang over to remember the night). But the best part - when we got home, he thanked me again and said, "I love you a lot mom." Drunk, maybe, but I WILL TAKE THAT!!!

Looks like they had a great time to me! He's the one being accosted by the green headed guy. And yes, I stole this from his friend's Facebook.
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