When my kids were very young (six years old) I sat them down and told them that no matter what the issue they are facing they can always come to me and I will listen. I promised that I wouldn’t jump to conclusions and I would allow them to speak before I asked them a million and one questions. It was very important for me to have this type of relationship with my children, because it was something that I never had as a child, teen or young adult. I would often feel envious of my friends who were close to their parents and could share almost anything with them without feeling like they were going to get falsely accused and end up grounded for months!
My parents accused me of using drugs and being an alcoholic when I was a teenager. Just because I went from listening to New Kids on the Block to blaring Guns and Roses and INXS (mind you my wall was still plastered with New Kids posters) didn’t mean I was a juvenile delinquent …….but if taking a sip of my moms wine cooler and the couple of times I snuck and made myself a fuzzy naval….then I’m guilty. Send me to AA!! And as far as drugs ….. I inhaled twice in my lifetime and I was in my mid-twenties. “Jolene….come on just try it….I do it all the time….come on……” these were the words of my younger sister. Yep, I was pressured to smoke weed by my drunken/high YOUNGER sister who was in college at the time.
As my children got older I didn’t know that my words would come back to haunt me. They really took “you can tell me anything” to heart, but it was better for me to know what they were up to rather than having to resort to my mother’s way …………..snooping and then jumping to conclusions…..although, I admit I snooped from time to time, what parent doesn’t? but I never found anything that I didn’t already know about…..well except for the condom, but that story can wait!! …… I knew that being a teenager was hard and I knew they would have questions about sex/boyfriends/girlfriends …etc…. or just your every day high school drama to contend with so if I could give them advice then I would.
“Mom, I’m calling you to let you know that I am ditching class with Heather”….. I stood there dumbfounded, what did Marie just say? She was a junior in High school ……pretty much a straight A student, college bound and kept herself out of trouble so imagine my shock when I heard her tell me that she was ditching school. NOW, before I jumped down her throat….I had to remember that I ditched school ALL the time and never would have admitted it to my mother. “Maria….uhmmm why are you telling me that you are ditching school?” …. “Mom you always told me that I could tell you anything” OK, she got me there. She proceeded to tell me that she has never done anything like this before and wanted to get it out of her system before her senior year. I laughed (to myself) and then told her the importance of staying in school and not ditching her classes……I let her off lightly……she did ditch a few times after but quickly got bored with it.
Ann was the most open with me though and she continues to surprise me…..NOTHING is off limits with her and in a way I’m glad she can come to me. If you read yesterdays post “My trip to the Toy Store” then you would have known that I went and purchased a few goodies for myself………knowing Ann frequents this blog I quickly texted her and told her NOT to read it………too late…I get a message back stating “Mom we are sooooo much a like, Kevin and I went to a “store” a couple of days ago”. WHAT!!! See I didn’t need to know that……..yes it’s good that they aren’t afraid to start up their own “toy” collection but I didn’t need to read it……………. “I didn’t need to know that Ann”….. “but MOM you told me that I can tell you anything” she laughed .
I could never imagine myself having this type of conversation with my mom, I still get squeamish just thinking about the time I walked into the bathroom and saw her leopard lace nighty hanging on the towel rack….ugh…..I was twenty-five.